With every holiday season, consumers flock to their favorite stores or log into their go-to e-commerce sites and begin ordering millions of dollars in merchandise. While every link in the supply chain benefits from this influx of revenue, keeping up with this meteoric rise in demand for holiday shipping services can be incredibly challenging.
The good news is that you can make this holiday shipping season a little less hectic and a little more profitable by leveraging a few time-tested logistics management strategies. As you gear up for this year’s holiday shipping season, we suggest that you get ahead of the madness by doing the following:
Reaching Out to Other Members of the Supply Chain
Communication is key to navigating the madness of the holiday shipping season. With that in mind, you should touch base with your carriers, manufacturers, and other companies that stand as links in your supply chain. During these preparatory discussions, share your current holiday shipping demand projections with your supply chain partners and ensure everyone is on the same page.
By taking this proactive approach, you can reserve enough capacity to handle your projected holiday shipping volume. You can also schedule freight deliveries and pickups to keep inventory flowing to your customers.
When it comes to holiday shipping, there is no such thing as being over-prepared. Triple-check all demand projections, review your delivery and pickup schedules, and ensure that there are no discrepancies or conflicts that could cause supply chain disruptions.
Reviewing Carrier Service Schedules
All year long, your carrier service comes through, so naturally, your first instinct is to assume that they are going to deliver during the holiday shipping season as well by expanding their availability and extending their operating hours, but this is not always the case.
With that in mind, you must review your carrier’s service schedule to verify that they will be operating when you need them, and if one of your preferred carriers decides to give drivers some well-deserved time off, you need a pivot option in place. By reviewing service schedules ahead of time, you will avoid being caught off guard and will have ample time to make alternate plans as needed.
Budgeting for Holiday Shipping Rate Hikes
In response to the seasonal surge in demand for shipping services, the majority of carriers institute holiday shipping rate hikes. You know that these temporary rate hikes are coming, so why not prepare for them by including them in your shipping budget?
By accounting for such rate hikes, you can set better product price points and avoid discounting items too heavily, which in turn will allow you to maintain healthy profit margins without passing on any added shipping costs to your customers.
Connecting with a 3PL
A third-party logistics provider (3PL) can take over your logistics and distribution responsibilities. A 3PL can use its resources, technologies, and industry expertise to create agile, efficient, and highly productive distribution pathways for your business.
If you want to turn holiday shipping from a persistent pain point into an organizational strength, partnering with a 3PL like R2 Logistics is the most pragmatic approach. Our team knows what it takes to optimize supply chain efficiency, reduce your risk of disruptions, and keep products flowing to your loyal customers.
Upgrading Your Tech With R2 Logistics
Partnering with a 3PL like R2 Logistics is an excellent way of getting a leg up on the competition and preparing your business for the inevitable frenzy of holiday shipping. R2 Logistics will not only modernize your logistics management practices, but our team can upgrade your technology, too.
We can oversee the deployment of our leading-edge transportation management system (TMS). This technology provides real-time insights into your supply chain so that you can make informed business decisions and improve supply chain performance.
If you would like to learn more about our 3PL services or our TMS solution, connect with R2 Logistics for a no-obligation quote.