Popular sentiments makes you believe that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are the top shopping periods every year. While the Thanksgiving weekend is impressive, it only lasts for a weekend. The largest and most consistent shopping period to look out for is Christmas, not just Christmas, but the entire month of December.
The thanksgiving weekend brings in the most revenue in a single weekend, but Christmas sales keep orders rolling all month long. The consistent shopping throughout December adds and possibly causes a logistics crisis.
In a perfect world, consumers would have all their Christmas orders settled way back in September, but that isn't the case; logistics companies need to create a seamless system to combat the logistics crisis. Since most individuals push off purchasing Christmas gifts for their loved ones until the last minute, that pressure is transferred to eCommerce businesses and 3PL logistics companies to deliver before the 25th. While consumers place an order and wait for our packages, logistics companies have other concerns.
The most common logistics crisis during the Christmas holiday period was caused by handling bulk orders with a reduced staff strength. It is not uncommon for workers, even those in the logistics segment, to be part of the holidays and spend time with their families and loved ones during this season. And in order to cater to this desire and have a satisfied staff base, logistics companies have to create a balanced schedule for workers.
The phenomenon of the Christmas holidays comes with its unintended impacts, which could affect worldwide transport, logistics service providers, and even end-consumers. But some of the consistent logistics crises that companies face during Christmas is:
1. Increased Orders
Christmas is the most demanding holiday for almost all parties involved. Unlike the Thanksgiving weekend holiday, where people purchase products for themselves, people buy gifts for many others during Christmas. In this case, the logistics crisis is that companies that usually manage 100 orders weekly could see that number explode up to 1000 during the Christmas period, which is oftentimes more than these companies can handle.
2. Susceptibility to Error Rises
Due to the rush to have presents wrapped before 25th, many buyers tend to opt for same-day delivery. This scenario itself could lead to a higher chance of errors in the workflow of supply chain. An overworked system will lead to blunders that can cause a delay in delivery times.
3. More Return Orders
The logistics crisis is a chain reaction stemming from increased orders on overworked staff. The holidays can be strenuous mainly because of the last-minute rush people have before purchasing gifts. Logistics companies work overtime to keep up with logistics demands, and errors arise. The errors ultimately lead to order returns which has an effect on the entire eCommerce ecosystem.
4. Cargo and Labor Shortage
Even though the coronavirus is a recent development worldwide, it has largely affected logistics enough to be considered a logistics crisis. COVID-19’s old and new strains have led to a cargo shortage and labor shortage. Logistics companies have taken safety precautions against the spread of the virus with reduced labor, but this is the root cause of the current cargo shortage the whole world is suffering.
It would only be redundant for logistics service providers to acknowledge the impact of the Christmas-induced logistics crisis without doing something actionable to combat it. That said, here are some of the ways relevant stakeholders can act.
● Calm the Festive Frenzy with Accurate Data
Acquiring accurate data and planning with it allows logistics managers to calculate the rush effectively. Logistics companies do this by analyzing data from the past Christmas season to figure out where they can improve for this season. It helps to be aware of the strength and weaknesses of each staff member to figure out an appropriate role for them. Using street and property reference numbers, logistics companies can gather accurate data for delivery optimization.
● Optimize Warehouse and Inventory Management
To streamline all the data on each order placed and products stored in warehouses, an automated management system is the best way to optimize warehouse and inventory management.
● Ensure Order Visibility
A logistics company without order visibility is quite likely to run into trouble during the holiday season. Order visibility is when all parties involved in order delivery (i.e., logistics company, eCommerce brand, and customers) know exactly where the products are at all points during the delivery process.
● Prepare for Known Holiday Surcharges
Recognizing and preparing for holiday surcharges can be the essential difference between making a profit per order or losing money. A holiday surcharge is an extra fee an eCommerce business may charge for non-cash payments.
With holiday surcharges becoming more routine, it pays to stay aware of these increments. Logistics companies that set out with an understanding of these charges can remain profitable and ensure consumer satisfaction.
The logistics crisis of the Christmas season might sound daunting, but it can be managed effectively with proper planning. Instead of waiting around and hoping your parcel comes through, choose a courier with proven results like YunExpress.
YunExpress is a global eCommerce logistics partner with years of experience navigating the holiday season. YunExpress offers services covering cross-border B2C business lines, fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) transfer, postal parcel, and international express. With exceptional delivery time and unbeatable rates, YunExpress is the right choice to beat the logistics crisis that plagues many others. Visit YunExpress today to experience a quality logistic company.
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