5 tips to prepare for peak season early

July 27, 2020 Casey Nighbor

Getting an early start on hiring for peak season is always a good business move. Starting early allows you adequate time to determine your business needs and find and hire the right drivers.

This year, however, getting an early start on peak season is absolutely essential. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unique challenges.

Start preparing for peak season now with the following tips.

1. Create a plan

The saying “luck favors the prepared” is a common saying. This is especially true when preparing for peak. Planning ahead can help anticipate problems before they happen.

It’s best to start planning by reflecting on your past peak seasons. Outline what worked and what didn’t. Then build a plan to address any shortcomings and define improvements.

Take into account that there are new obstacles in place for this season.

2. Prepare for new obstacles

COVID-19 has created new obstacles for keeping your drivers safe while still maintaining efficiency.

Drivers are looking for increased safety measures and clients most likely are as well. Making sure your drivers and any staff members are supplied with the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies. Ensure you are properly cleaning trucks and following best practices.

3. Increase communication

Communication is even more important than it has been during past peak seasons.

Increasing the lines of communication between you and your drivers can help address any issues in timely manner. This is also important during current times so that you can learn any concerns drivers are having about their personal safety and hear any suggestions.

This peak also means that you’ll need to increase communication with your supply chain, vendors and clients. You’ll want to keep ahead of any delays, changes in protocol or any concerns by any party.

4. Always think about weather

Weather can always throw a wrench into the best laid peak season plans. Having contingency plans in place can help mitigate delays.

During summer peak, that means planning for more traffic, construction and heat. With more vehicles on the road, fleets can anticipate a higher rate of accidents due to closer vehicle spacing, and a higher rate of incidents due to overheating vehicles,

During holiday peak, this means planning for unexpected snow storms or other inclement weather. 

To combat these issues, fleets can be proactive by creating alternate routes to help drivers avoid bottlenecks  and delays whenever possible. Fleets should also account for traffic by lengthening shipment windows whenever possible. This will make routes seem more achievable for drivers, and help limit frustrations.

5. Find a trusted partner

A surefire way to help prepare for a successful peak is to find a trusted partner. A partner like Centerline can help you find qualified drivers to keep your trucks moving during the most critical seasons. We work with you to tailor a solution to your specific business needs and find expertly matched drivers.

Want to ensure you are prepared for peak? Download our free checklist to see where you stand.

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