Holiday Shipping Preparedness – Here We Go!
Black Friday weekend is over, and that means the shopping season is officially here. According to NRF, more than 164 million consumers were expected to shop over Thanksgiving weekend and spend 4.1% more than last year. Transportation and logistics companies have been preparing to support retailers during the peak shipping season for months.
For those retailers, getting products on shelves and to consumers is priority number one. Last year, even Walmart struggled with fulfillment. To combat the challenges, logistics professionals and retailers alike are using several strategies to improve efficiencies and save costs in 2018 so that consumers receive their purchases accurately and on-time.
One of those strategies is to fill warehouse space with back stock. Beyond the demands of the holiday season, concerns over the coming tariffs have incited some to stock up in preparation. This is a sharp turn away from just-in-time inventory management trends, which increase efficiencies by receiving goods only as needed. The additional costs associated with this tactic may very well be worth it come January 2019.
To support the increased movement, most shippers have hired additional workers. Flexible shift models have allowed recruitment of a larger workforce. By accommodating their employee’s family needs, bus schedules, second jobs and more, companies are seeing success in seasonal hiring!
Consumer expectations for on-demand delivery is never felt stronger than during the holiday season. Consumers shop across a variety of retail outlets, though 55% plan to buy online (NRF). The old faithfuls – FedEx, UPS and even DHL – are still responsible for getting most products safely to the consumer’s home. To combat the last-mile delivery challenges, logistics companies are adding more drivers or contracting with additional carriers. Some are taking advantage of alternatives like Deliv, UberRUSH and Task Rabbit. Tech is also playing a crucial role, such as with Amazon Key.
Hold on to your hats, holiday shipping is here – whether you’re a retailer, shipper or consumer – you’re in for a wild ride.
To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you expand your distribution, contact us today!