“Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus!” When your company is responsible for the delivery of Santa’s gifts, prompt delivery time is imperative. Shippers can avoid headaches with these recommended shipping tips.
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year which gives shoppers and carriers two extra shipping days to get their goods wrapped and under the tree in the nick of time. Don’t let those two extra days fool you into thinking you can wait until the last minute. Being proactive has its advantages and AFS Logistics is here to guide you through the inevitable uncertainty the holiday shipping season will bring.
Online sales are forecasted to increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion. Carriers have prepared for the surge by hiring thousands of seasonal drivers. Because the seasonal drivers may not be as experienced as full-time drivers, there is a greater margin for error. Even a typo as small as one digit off from the shipper’s street address can cost you time and money. Reduce room for error on your end by having your freight properly packaged and labeled.
Schedule your shipments early, especially large volume shipments. Giving the carrier advance notice will likely move you up on the pickup list. Keeping the line of communication open is the key to success during this chaotic time of the year.
Keep in mind that not all countries celebrate the same holidays as the United States. If you are shipping internationally, be sure to identify the dates both of your companies are open and closed for holidays.
Talk to the managers at the local hub about what you can do ahead of time to avoid delays. Have your paperwork complete, labels clearly printed and correctly placed and make sure packages are condensed as much as possible. Make your list and check it twice!
Ask to be put on the carrier’s weather delay email list. Let them know that you want to be informed so you can keep your customers up to date as well. Shoppers are more likely to understand why Little Johnny is not going to open his new IPad on Christmas Day if they know a snow storm has prevented that from happening.
Be realistic when providing shipping options to your customers. While some parents may understand snow storms can cause shipping delays, most will not take kindly to their children waking up on Christmas day to an empty tree due to a lack of truckload capacity or port congestion.
All in all, carriers have experienced good and bad years during the holidays. They have learned from previous years and are well prepared to deliver your goods. Your customers’ doorsteps will be draped with packages in time for the unwrapping to begin, while you are at home enjoying the taste of another year of holiday shipping victory.