Preparing and managing your supply chain for peak retail season

Dec 7, 2023 | Case Studies

With peak retail season underway, many businesses are already in the process of a successful sales period. The heightened demand during this peak season can be overwhelming and stressful for retailers, manufacturers and other industries who witness seasonal demands around holidays, so preparation and organisation in advance is crucial for when this annual period approaches.

A crucial part of this peak period is making sure your supply chain is organised, so you can seamlessly manage an increase in activity and achieve the growth that every retailer is looking for at this time of year.

As a supply chain includes everything from the transportation of goods from the supplier to the manufacturer to their ultimate delivery to the consumer – it’s vital that this is in order throughout the year, but especially during peak season as demand increases drastically. Several steps can be taken to ensure your supply chain is prepared and organised for peak season.

Choosing your supply chain

Choosing the correct logistics suppliers is a vital part of the planning process. Doing your research in advance is important to ensure you are choosing the correct suppliers for your business needs – do you need a reactive one trip delivery service, or are you best suited to a complete logistics partner who can keep up with demand?

Using local suppliers can be a great start, as they tend to be quicker to react when business needs change due to location and will give you that safety from global issues that affect large delivery organisations. It is also important to check that they can scale up their support as and when needed, and they are prepared with contingency plans for any sort of disruptions.

Once you have chosen your logistics supplier, it’s important to build on the relationship. Meeting with your supplier prior to peak season can help you understand what they need from you and vice versa, in order to put a meticulous plan in place.

Preparation and strategy

With Christmas spending constantly increasing each year, it’s important that retailers keep up with demand so they don’t miss out on the increase in sales. Preparing your supply chain in advance is a crucial step to ensure you are organised for this season, this includes manufacturers and distributors as well as the logistics partners that support them.

Being prepared early will allow you to get ahead of the game and allow you to factor in time to manage any delays or issues that may arise during the planning period. There are also logistics partners that are highly responsive and provide tailored and dedicated solutions for gaps in the logistics supply chain or if planning has happened a little later than planned.

Communication with your logistics supplier throughout this busy period is also key to preparing and strategising. You can do this by letting your logistics supplier know when cut-off dates for orders are, keeping them in the loop with in-demand products, letting them know about low stock and checking in about delivery demand, so you can manage consumers expectations and ensure products arrive on time.


With ASC research revealing that the focus on warehousing shifted from 50% in 2022 to 57% this year, warehousing is growing as a priority for businesses.

Prioritising warehousing and fulfilment could allow you to streamline processes and enhance efficiency in your supply chain. You can do this by minimising touchpoints, eliminating inconsistencies in labelling and packaging, and reducing vehicle movements and mileage where possible. If you can streamline and prioritise warehousing in advance, you will maximise your opportunities to manage these peak periods more effectively.

There are logistics partners who provide haulage and warehousing support as one encompassed service, so it is worth exploring the market to find a partner that can provide you with everything you need to support your supply chain.

Audits of supply chain data

Making sure you are accurately tracking stock and using data effectively is a vital part of preparing for peak season. As well as helping with project management, it will help maximise sales opportunities and make sure costs are controlled, meaning risk factors are less likely.

Evaluating your supply chain data before peak season could help you identify precise information and allow you to be equipped with the information and data needed for going into the busy period.

Contingency plans

With the help of your supply chain audits and data, you can create contingency plans to make sure you are well prepared for whatever circumstance. With consumers constantly changing their buying habits, using supply chain data can ensure you are prepared for different outcomes, allowing you to adjust prices and promotions if necessary.

Your logistics partner is essential for shaping the success of your business especially during peak industry seasons. From ensuring efficient and timely deliveries to mitigating risks and optimising costs, the role of your logistics partner extends far beyond the warehouse and transportation.

Choosing the right logistics partner is not just a business decision, it’s an investment in the seamless execution of your operations during the most critical time of the year.

LNH offers dedicated door-to-door delivery services, ensuring collection within the hour and providing tailored, fully tracked collection and delivery options, as well as providing warehousing support ideally located for major airports and motorway networks. LNH’s versatile fleet of vehicles is equipped to facilitate same-day deliveries throughout the UK and next-day and express European deliveries.

Find out more about our dedicated delivery services and supply chain management here.