The holidays are a wonderful time of year. Friends, family and colleagues spread joy and holiday cheer through quality time and sometimes special gifts. As the season kicks off, take some time to review your shipping processes and prepare for the holiday shipping peak season. While our industry aims for on time delivery without issue, peak season is a time where delays or issues can cause more stress than normal.
"With proper planning and knowing what to expect and prevent, there is no need to fear the holiday season," says Unishippers President Steve Leavitt. "These tips can help you get in front of potential shipping issues year round but are particularly important in setting your business up for success during peak season so you can enjoy fulfilling an influx of orders."
Holiday Shipping Checklist
Managing shipping can be especially challenging during the holiday peak shipping season. Follow these tips and learn more with these resources posted on our website to ensure a seamless, successful peak shipping season.
- Set Realistic Expectations for Customers: When you create a shipment, always utilize the email notification options! If a shipment is delayed, lost or damaged, communicate with your client on resolution options.
- Remember the Weather: Jack Frost might be visiting another hub that can impact your shipment, meaning carriers can suspend service in times of severe weather.
- Clearly Label Your Packages: It is crucial to properly label both your freight and express shipments to ensure packages get where they need to go without delay. We always recommend putting an extra label inside the box, just in case the label separates from the box.
- Be Diligent with Scheduling: During the peak season, there simply are fewer business days. If you anticipate having shipments every day, speak to your shipping consultant to see if you might benefit from a regularly scheduled pickup. Make sure you know the posted holiday hours and cut off times. Plan ahead and consider moving your scheduled pickups to an earlier time.
- Plan Accordingly for Complex Orders: Time-sensitive merchandise such as food or medical supplies require more care and attention, so ensure all paperwork and labels reflect the priority of your shipment. You may also consider contacting your carrier representative to reiterate your shipment’s time sensitivity.
- Add Insurance to Your Shipment: Unfortunately, peak season means it’s more likely for your shipment to be lost or delayed. Properly insuring your shipments can make or break your holiday season.
- Packaging Matters: Avoid the disappointment of damaged goods by utilizing the correct packaging. Invest in the best packaging possible like a new box. UPS published this AMAZING infographic about the anatomy of a cardboard box.
While it can be difficult to navigate all of the changes in the shipping industry, the good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Companies like Unishippers CHDN act as expert shipping consultants for your business, providing insights and industry knowledge to help you survive peak shipping season. Working with a 3PL, like Unishippers CHDN, also provides the following benefits:
- Significant savings through leveraging combined shipping volume
- Access to multiple freight carrier options
- Tools and technology that help maximize efficiency and improve the shipping process
Therese N. O’Sullivan is the president of Unishippers CHDN, a woman owned and 2nd Generation Unishippers Franchisee based in the Chicago area.