Visibility Protects the Most Important Fall Assets

Fall Supply Chain Blog

By Carolina Ruiz • Published October 8, 2021 • 4 minute read

Supply chains are stretched thin with growing shortages of raw materials and finished goods, including food products. Amid all the chaos and uncertainty, Americans still expect at least one item to be in plentiful supply this fall season.

What could it be? Pumpkins and pumpkin-spice-flavored dishes, of course.

Online food ordering company Grubhub found that pumpkin-flavored dishes are in high demand from September through November. The peak demand is in October when orders rise 118% above normal. November is slightly lower at 92% above average.

Grubhub also tracked the most popular fall dishes. Pumpkin spice pancakes (365%) were top, followed closely by pumpkin pie milkshakes (339%), pumpkin spiced cheesecake (329%), pumpkin cupcakes (263%) and pumpkin spice cookies (155%).

These delicacies tickle more taste buds on the West Coast. The top three states with pumpkin-related food orders are California, Oregon and Washington with Ohio and Utah rounding out the top five.

Despite a global health pandemic, hurricanes, labor shortages and a myriad of other supply chain disruptions, popular food brands launched new pumpkin spice products just in time for this season. Pumpkin-flavored coffees, teas, ice creams, oatmeal and beer are among the new products that have contributed to even more supply chain complexity.

Other fall flavors are moving rapidly through supply chains: caramel apple, apple cinnamon, pear, and maple. For the record, one of the most interesting new developments is from Nissin, with a new pumpkin spice blend for its popular Cup Noodles.

Monitoring assets and cargo

Supply chains need visibility. Food manufacturers, warehouses, grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries and other outlets must closely watch inventory levels and accurately predict order lead times. Shippers and receivers depend on transportation providers to find more capacity and to accurately track and manage assets for on-time and error-free deliveries.

Trailer tracking systems can help motor carriers find hidden capacity and provide customers with end-to-end shipment visibility. Tracking updates can be sent automatically when assets arrive for a pickup, when they depart with a load, during transit, and when they arrive for a delivery.

Many foods are temperature-sensitive, such as dough for pumpkin pie crusts. Sensors can monitor for real-time changes in temperature and other cargo conditions to ensure product integrity. Any other exceptions that occur along the way, like detention or unexpected delays, can be managed proactively to prevent surprises and hold parties accountable.

The fall season is a stress test to determine if supply chains are prepared to handle an even busier holiday retail period. Inventory must get to the right places at the right times to prevent lost sales. Asset tracking and cargo monitoring technology can help shippers and carriers move product through supply chains more efficiently without errors.

For more than 20 years, SkyBitz has supplied the nation’s top-performing carriers with the most robust trailer tracking and monitoring solutions for all types of assets and cargo. The technology can help carriers fulfill more orders by finding hidden capacity and meeting critical visibility needs for customers during the busy fall season and beyond.