It is never too early to start planning your businesses holiday shipping and logistics in October – November; the ‘trick’ is to begin planning now to manage your holiday deliveries during this holiday season. The ‘treat’ is that A1 Worldwide Logistics a leading provider of logistics and Supply Chain services and has put together a checklist to help small to SMB owners understand seasonal trends that can affect their businesses and the strain on the shipping industry during this frantic shipping time.
This year was substantial due to trends and challenges that kept the shipping industry busy. Logistics pressures will intensify as the holidays begin, with high season surcharges, a rush of customers orders and other constant weather-related delays.
A1 World Logistics recommends all businesses, large or small take these four steps to get ahead of seasonal pressure and reduce the effect of delayed, lost or damaged shipments:
- Set Realistic Expectations: No company is exempt from delays due to weather conditions, driver shortages and other industry realities. Embrace logistics clarity with customers when there is a spike in shipping volume and carriers are stretched thin. This is your businesses chance to be as accommodating and realistic as possible when setting peoples expectations for customer orders. Handle any delayed, damaged or lost shipments by providing regular updates on an estimated solution.
- Be Diligent with Scheduling: Keep in mind that there are fewer business days and there can be more weather disruptions during the holiday season, which means transit times for shipping may surge, and guarantees are often suspended. Planning by getting your ‘just in time inventory’ out early and accelerating urgent shipments whenever possible will help you avoid delays. Don’t risk putting your business and customers in a bind by not planning for the correct number of transit days.
- Plan Accordingly: Be aware that time-sensitive merchandise such as fresh food requires more care and attention. Confirm all paperwork and labels reflect the priority of the delivery and consider contacting your carriers rep to restate the shipment’s time sensitiveness. Also, be mindful of your shipping technique since a loading dock may treat your load as a lower priority if it requires more time and labor due to awkward or odd-proportioned packaging.
- Consider Hiring a Professional: Logistics is a multidimensional industry, and it is beneficial to have someone as your shipping guide—throughout the year, but particularly during the holiday season. A third-party logistics expert like A1 Worldwide Logistics, A1 provides you with a level of service and expert consultation that ensures you’re using the best shipping options for your specific needs. Whether it’s considering seasonal price hikes, comprehending insurance, accessing vast carrier partners or getting help with tracking and troubleshooting, A1 Worldwide Logistics is your industry expert.