Even if you’ve been working hard to stay ahead of the small business holiday shipping game, you still might want some eleventh-hour shipping tips to push your shipping into overdrive. We’ve pulled together a few last-minute small business holiday shipping tips so you can keep focused and be successful during the busiest shipping time of the year.
At this point, the time for planning and strategizing is over, and now it’s full-on streamlining mode. Packaging is a huge part of the supply chain in both importance and time consumption. Thankfully, streamlining packaging protocols makes a huge difference in meeting the needs of your customers and shipping partners.
Consolidating smaller, more frequent shipments that are going to the same place into larger, less frequent shipments saves you money and also helps you move more cargo in a tight capacity market like you see today. And ensuring you are choosing the optimal packaging materials for your freight is also vital to the process. During the winter months, its riskier to move freight with the snowy or very cold conditions, so make sure shipping labels are laminated and waterproofed for the journey.
For a more comprehensive look into freight packaging, download our free Guide to Freight Packaging.
Freeze Protection Services
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, shipping during the cold winter months can present issues for shippers, like longer transit times and very cold temperatures. Depending on the cargo you’re shipping, you may need freeze protection services.
Freeze protection services keep your temperature or cold-sensitive freight protected from freezing when your shipment goes through extremely cold regions or is being shipped during cold seasons. If you’re shipping cargo that has the potential to freeze, be damaged from freezing or could spoil, then you need freeze protection services.
Keep in mind that certain items are not covered under freeze protection services, so it’s best to check with your third-party logistics provider or your carrier to make sure your items are covered.
Remember Reverse Logistics
You may or may not have already had to deal with a customer’s returned shipment, but that plays just as important of a part in your supply chain as getting the cargo to customers in the first place. In the event of damaged products or general returns, having a strong reverse logistics plan increases customer satisfaction and is key to brand success during a time that may lead to increased negative experiences.
In fact, 97% of customers are more likely to be repeat customers after a positive return experience. Additionally, nearly half (46%) of customers return between one and three gifts received during the holiday season.
Naturally, more returns are going to occur after the holidays as people decide if they want the gifts they received or if they want to return them. Having transparent return policies and providing resources and channels for shippers to send cargo back if they need to helps you save your brand reputation and keeps your customers happy.
Whether it’s getting your reverse logistics strategy in order or any other last-minute small business holiday shipping goal, a 3PL like FreightCenter can help you achieve that goal. Let us help keep you moving this holiday season and all year round! Get a free online quote or give us a call at 844-212-7447.