The question of how to avoid the 2021 holiday shipping delays is hot right now. Both logistics companies and their clients want to get an answer — how can we make this work?
People got used to the fact that they can order anything they want online, and it’ll be on their doorstep in a day or two. They got fond of convenience, so the demand kept growing. However, during the last two years, we’ve seen a shift in the logistics challenges facing the industry. The waits are longer than before, and we can’t expect that they’ll get shorter during the holiday season.
Luckily, things are going fine for now. People are getting their packages, but the real rush is yet to start. So, let’s see how customers can help the retailers, and then we’ll talk about how to prepare for shipping out.
How to Get Your Packages In Time
It’s only natural that you want to surprise your friends and family during the holiday season. If some of them live abroad, you might want to send them a package to unwrap on Christmas morning and share your love that way. However, you’re not the only one thinking this way.
As we’re getting closer to the end of the year, more and more people are sending parcels. Shipping companies are busy, and you need to account for that. Let’s go over a few things you want to keep in mind if you didn’t do your Christmas shopping just yet.
First off, expect delays. We know it sounds contrary to what we’re trying to achieve, but you want to stay realistic.
Secondly, plan ahead. Of course, if there’s a chance that there will be a jam near the end of the month, send or request your packages early. If you can, there’s nothing wrong with doing it right away. You’re better off if they arrive at their destination early than late.
Finally, be prepared to pay the premium. Planning so much in advance is often tricky, especially if you have a lot on your mind. Thus, if you see that you’re already behind, pay the premium to ensure your parcel will arrive when it should.
What Can Businesses Do?
Both retailers and eCommerce companies want to boost their sales, and the end of the year is the best time to do it. If you want to bring your sales up and keep your customers happy, you’ll want to learn how to avoid the 2021 holiday shipping delays. Here’s what you need to do.
Prepare Your Inventory and Packing Supplies
Go over your books and your inventory, and think once again about what is likely to sell a lot at this time. Predict the number of orders you’ll get and make sure you have enough stock to go around.
On top of that, you mustn’t forget about the packing supplies either. No matter how many orders you get, they won’t be of much use if you can’t send the items people want to buy. And according to Murphy’s law, you’ll run out of them in the worst possible moment.
Don’t let this happen to you, and get yourself a bit more packing supplies than you think you’ll need. These aren’t that expensive – so you can afford them, and even if you end up with some leftovers, you’ll use them later.
Set Up Delivery and Return Strategies
If you want to be carefree this holiday season, you must sort out and fine-tune your shipping system. Get in touch with a reliable company and see if you can get a deal. They’ll be more than busy for sure, but if you have a few big shipments to send out, you might even get some kind of discount.
You also want to sort out your return strategy. Some people won’t like what they get, and they’ll want to return it. If you want to improve your eCommerce business and retain customers, your job is to go out of your way and make that possible.
Why Do Holiday Shipping Delays Happen?
If you did everything we talked about, you did everything you could. It’s not like you can take each package and take it where it needs to go by yourself. You’ll have to rely on transport companies to do it for you, and they’re under a lot of stress at the moment. Here are some of the factors that you can’t influence and that can make your shipment run late.
Bad weather. The weather can be unpredictable in the winter, and the shipping company can’t do anything about it. A significant snowfall certainly can push delivery dates a bit further.
A high number of shipments. As we mentioned, more and more people are ordering things online, and the higher the number of shipments is, the higher chances for delays are.
Traffic jams. They’re unpredictable and happen in a split second. So, even if delivery companies know about the existing jams, they can’t predict where the next one will happen.
And that’s all you need to know about how to avoid the 2021 holiday shipping delays. Be honest with your customers, encourage them to order early, and do your shopping as soon as possible.
Tobi Hook is an experienced transport specialist and a freelance writer. At the moment, he’s working with City Movers on improving their processes and spreading the word about their company. He loves to spend his free time reading sci-fi novels and building model rockets with his son.