3 common holiday shipping mistakes and how to avoid them.

Winter driving caution

Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing? With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to start making your freight shipping checklist – and checking it twice. While the holidays are often filled with fun and joy, they can also be extremely stressful, especially for e-commerce retailers and small business owners. 

Great shipping services are all about expectation management while preparing for any issues that might possibly arise. This holds especially true during peak shipping periods such as the winter holiday season, when an increasingly high volume of shipments can lead to a number of unexpected challenges.

Nobody likes a Grinch, so we’ve created a list of the top holiday shipping mistakes and how to best avoid them.

 

1. Ignoring historical trends and forecasting.

For those who have been in business for more than a few years and understand the freight shipping process, there should be no excuse for being unprepared. By simply looking back at the previous year’s inventory and sales during the holiday season, along with the level of growth during that time, you can create projections based on the previous period and know what to expect.

However, for newer businesses, it’s not quite that simple. Businesses that haven’t yet experienced the holiday shipping season will likely face a bit more of an uphill battle. Shipment volumes, order frequency and delivery destination are all contributing factors that new businesses must account for.

To get a better sense of what you can expect, examine the busiest periods you have experienced thus far and prepare yourself for similar or even higher numbers within that range. Also remember, if you offer the types of products that make for great gifts, you can expect a sales surge.

Online freight service providers can help provide insight into the holiday shipping season and prepare you with the best quote and transportation option.

 

2. Leaving shipping cutoff times on the back burner.

Customers will often be over cautious when shopping online during peak holiday periods, as ensuring a product will arrive on time is of the utmost importance.

If your business’ shipping cutoff dates and delivery schedule times are not presented in a clear and understandable way to customers, you risk losing them to competitor sites that can offer the assurance they are searching for.

A great way of overcoming this is to have a message on your website that informs customers about cutoff dates before it’s too late. Take it one step further and create an entire blog post or website landing page dedicated to listing all of your important cutoff dates. You can promote these dates through social media and email newsletters to your customer contact list, just to name a few. 

 

3. Shipping option tunnel vision.

Shippers often think that the way they ship freight (and all the costs that are associated with it) is essentially a fixed rate that can’t change. However, just because “this is the way it’s always been done,” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t search for other ways. When it comes to freight shipping, be sure to carefully consider all of your options.

Before you can decide which option is best suited to your shipping needs, you must first take into consideration shipping factors, including freight dimensions like height, length, width and weight. After these factors have been carefully analyzed, you will then be able to make the best choice based on what shipping option is right for you.

Online service providers can help guide your sleigh.

Don’t let the hassle of coordinating carriers, scheduling pick-up and delivery, and tracking shipments slow down your business this holiday season. Make this year the best yet by partnering with an online freight service provider to help manage the shipping details and ensure smooth transportation of your goods. Let’s look at a few ways online freight service providers can improve the process:

  • Tracking features: Our team of expert professionals provides you with the invaluable opportunity to stay in touch with your shipment 24/7 through the power of real-time tracking technology.
  • Optimized use of time and money: With a freight service provider, you gain an added layer of protection in identifying potentially-costly mistakes. Likewise, you get back time that would’ve normally been spent carrying out the management of your freight service needs.
  • Enhanced workplace productivity: By streamlining operations, shipping services allow companies to efficiently maximize space and increase productivity. This in turn can significantly cut costs throughout the process and save you money.
  • Quicker deliveries: The holidays can be hectic. Pre-negotiated guaranteed and expedited options can optimize the shipping process during this peak timeframe.

 

Final thoughts.

While the holiday season can be a challenge at times, it’s also full of great opportunities that provide a significant boost in revenue across industries. Overcoming these freight shipping challenges should be nothing new for experienced shippers, but by planning ahead and working with an online freight service provider, you can learn how to avoid these mistakes and ultimately improve operations this holiday season.

 

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