We know that holiday shipping is make-or-break time for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation survey, 22% of American shoppers said they started or were planning to start shopping in October, and the average consumer will spend roughly $967.13 on gifts and other holiday spending. Notably, for first time in history the most popular shopping destination in 2017 will be online.
Strategies for Peak Holiday Shipping
So, what does this mean for shippers, needing inventory to reach customers on schedule and not compromising on quality or service? Planning ahead and having a logistical strategy in place is key. Whether you’re cross-border shipping from the US to Canada, shipping from Canada to the US, across state lines, or overseas, here are some tips to help make this hectic season run smoothly.
Budget and Carrier Planning
Freight charges have a tendency to be higher during peak season, and there are lower capacity rates due to higher demand. Inventory orders start to increase in August as US and Canadian companies ramp up for the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Give carriers as much advance notice as possible to avoid a scramble. Developing relationships with multiple carriers in advance so that you’ll have time to secure dependable carriers to meet your demands during this time period. What if you are a small or mid sized company looking for the cheapest way to ship to Canada, within the US, or internationally? You may find it more economical to use freight broker can manage your logistics – alleviating in-house costs and pressure, while securing a more competitive rate leveraging their carrier alliances and logistics technology to improve processes.
Supply Chain Management
Assess last year’s product transportation system and evaluate successes and misses. How can shipping and logistics be improved upon, and become competitive and agile this season? You can look for third party logistics providers that offer transportation management audits. When it comes to housing inventory, you may want to consider distribution centers or warehouse facilities to accommodate peak season order fulfillment. This should be incorporated with your holiday season marketing and promotions strategy planning.
Shipping Boxes and Packing
hile holiday shipping costs are always at top of mind, check that any reused boxes haven’t lost their durability to avoid damage during transit. Popular gift items such as electronics can be temperature sensitive, and require climate-controlled storage and careful, dust-free packaging. Check with the manufacturer to ensure safe arrival of products.