The holidays are filled with joy, peace on Earth, awkward family parties and lots of eggnog. But businesses everywhere face challenges to meet their consumers’ high shipping expectations effectively this time of year. Supply chains need to be in tiptop shape to flow smoothly during the most wonderful (and busiest!) time of the year in logistics.
1. Have a Strategy. Know holiday shipping dates
Time is of the essence if you want to effectively ship during the holiday season. Planning out everything you can in advance streamlines the process for when business speeds up. Everything from pre-packing orders to maintaining the appropriate inventory levels of packaging material pays off more than you think in the long run. Be proactive and box up common orders and shipments during your downtime and make sure you won’t run out of boxes or tape in the middle of the holiday shipping frenzy!
If you’re shipping parcel often, it’s important to note the holiday parcel shipping cutoff dates carriers have in December. If you need a package delivered by Christmas Day or any other specific date, make sure you’re aware of when your favorite parcel carrier reaches their cutoff.
2. Ship Smarter. Packaging is key
The holidays don’t just have to be the season for spending. For supply chains, it should be the season of saving. You can’t ship effectively when you go over budget! Consolidating and bundling shipments means receiving discounted rates on volume shipments. You’ll spend less time packaging one-off shipments over time and get everything out of the way in one fell swoop.
Speaking of packaging, don’t get so carried away with the holiday rush you forget the importance of your packaging procedures. Choose the right packaging option for your cargo. Your shipping solutions provider can tell you which packaging option works best for you and saves you the most money.
Remember, the winter months can cause water damage to your labels from rain or snow. Cover your labels with plastic to prevent the elements from tampering with them. Make sure there’s no folds or tape obstructing the bar code.
3. Accurate Information. Avoid post-shipment charges
Billing adjustments are the Ebenezer Scrooge of the holiday shipping season. And they can be found everywhere if you’re not careful. Accurate information alleviates the risks of post-shipment charges that’ll surely ruin your jolly holiday mood.
With the rush of getting things here and there, inaccurate information thrives during the holiday shipping season. Mostly due to estimated time of delivery expectations. Inform customers and other shippers about estimated transit times and following carrier cutoff dates helps everyone understand what to expect and when to expect it. Weather-related disruptions and holiday operating hours can cause mistimed deliveries when this information doesn’t reach the proper parties involved.
Weight and cargo insurance and tracking options to reduce the risk of shipment loss or damage costs, helps provide peace of mind during this chaotic time.