A very challenging part of running a business during holidays is handling shipping logistics. The holidays account for a large percent of annual sales for retailers and they have a higher freight volume than other periods.
The holidays come at the same time every year but it still upset many shippers due to the unpredictability of consumers emotions.
Given the various challenges of shipping in the holidays, how can you be fully prepared?
We discuss some tips on how to get your products to the right destination at the right time.
- Ship Early:
When you get orders for your product or intend to send a regular delivery. It must be shipped early during the holiday season. This is especially important for shippers dealing in perishable goods. Early shipping will account for port congestion, domestic drayage, warehouse delivery slots or even rough weather may delay shipping.
Popular holidays are confirmed shipping bottleneck and a great way to get ahead is to ship as early as possible to get your products to its destination on time.
- Use Reputable Third-Party Logistics(3PL) Service:
Logistic is multifaceted and requires dedication and expertise to get right. Thus, it is in your best interest to work with a 3PL service provider who understands the challenges of the holiday seasons and how to handle them.
An expert level service and consultation will help you get the best shipping options available for your merchandise.
- Analyze the Market:
Modern businesses whether online or brick and mortar rely on data to stay ahead of the competition. Similar data can also be used to ease holiday shipping stress and satisfy excited buyers.
You can forecast your order expectation for the year based on previous months or years data and plan ahead to handle the predicted number of orders. Work with your sales, marketing, and finance teams to get insights so your manufacturers can be notified to prepare for possible large orders.
You must update your forecast weekly to accommodate unexpected changes in purchase behavior as a result of changing holiday moods. With a solid collaboration between your business and carriers, you can react quickly to changes so your customers can get their ordered product on time.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Sometimes, circumstances beyond your control determine shipping availability or delivery speed. No business is immune to delays whether due to cargo spike or other realities. If you are upfront with your customers about potential delays or carriers’ congestion, you will feel less pressure if the merchandise doesn’t arrive at the earliest estimated time.
- Prioritize Shipments:
Some cargoes are more important than others and should naturally ship first. As a result of the holiday rush, some shipments to get held up. Thus, time-sensitive goods such as food or medical supplies which requires special care should be a top priority.
Tell your freight forwards about your business’ higher priority goods so they can make necessary adjustments.
- Get Insurance:
Insurance is very important especially in the holiday season and the default basic insurance may not suffice due to increased risk of loss. You can’t predict what can happen to your shipment during transit.
If your goods get damaged or missing, comprehensive cargo insurance will cover for your loss.
- Be Flexible:
The holiday season is an elephant in the room for many shippers and carriers. In the age of large e-commerce business, responding to changing market space is critical to success. Arrange for flexible warehousing space or pop up hubs to handle possible volume overflow.
When you have a proper plan in place, work with an experienced 3PL provider, know what to expect and the precautions to take, you need not fear the holiday season logistics.
The above tips can help you get around potential shipping problems and help set your business up for success during the holiday so you can enjoy fulfilling the influx of customers’ orders.
Whether you are concerned about shipping price or volume spikes, East Coast Transport can help you out.