Every year, the holiday season can put a major strain on business operations as companies look to ship at the busiest time of the year for transport. Not only are you dealing with increased volume and maxed out carrier networks, but also the unpredictability of winter weather.
When making a holiday shipping strategy, planning ahead is essential to avoid challenging mishaps while also improving shipping efficiency. So, let’s take a look at what you should be doing now for a smooth holiday shipping season.
Make Freight Appointments
The holidays are the busiest time of year for freight shipping, so one of the most useful things you can do for your business is to set freight appointments. Whenever you’re able to, schedule pick-up and delivery appointments for your freight in advance.
When you know where your shipments are going, you’ll have time to secure your appointments and the capacity you need for your freight. This will help lower the chances of delays or needing to use expedited shipping.
Set Pick-Up and Delivery Capabilities
During the holiday shipping season, it’s safe to assume that all delivery carriers are on tight delivery schedules. So any flexibility they may be able to show at other times is pretty much gone now. To best plan for this aspect, make sure that you have any necessary equipment in place already.
That means ensuring that you have the right capabilities to load your freight onto a truck at the pick-up location. Then, depending on the capabilities of the truck, you may need to arrange a lift-gate to be on site at the delivery location. This will help lower the chances of delays and unexpected, additional fees.
Get Weather Updates
Following weather patterns is important throughout the year, but it’s critical during the holiday shipping season. It becomes especially crucial when preparing shipments to and from regions of North America that are known to have harsh winters.
Planning for inclement weather can be very difficult, so sign up for weather updates well in advance to start familiarizing yourself with what’s happening in the areas you need to know. You should consider leaving 1-2 days of additional time in shipments to account for any unexpected delays due to storms.
Look At Your History
Consider what you’ve done in the past for shipping strategies during your busiest times. Analyzing your own freight data can help you prepare. Examining the data from these periods will give you a better basis to forecast what the holidays will be like and help you build a foundation that you can use to form a plan. This practice will also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and allow you to plan around them.
While building a holiday shipping season plan may seem daunting, starting early and incorporating these strategies will go a long way in making your holidays smooth. And if you’re ever uncertain, working with an experienced freight service provider can help alleviate the burden of planning for the holidays off your plate.
At Pride Logistics, we’re always prepared with the experience, creativity, and strategy you need for a stress-free holiday shipping season. Sign up for our newsletter today to receive news, tips, and exclusive offers to streamline your supply chain and logistics management.