How to stay on top of the holiday freight shipping season.
October 16, 2018
With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s important to stay on top of your freight shipping strategy. Extra volume, complex shipping windows, and other outside factors accompany the millions of gifts that will be ordered this year.
To get a firm grasp on the demand of the season, you will first want to collect all of the facts to understand where possible delays may occur and how to best utilize the resources at your disposal. Let’s look at a few ways you can navigate the holiday freight shipping season.
Thinking ahead of the holidays.
One of the biggest holiday freight shipping obstacles to overcome is understanding the window you have to work with. While certain dates are blacked out completely - think Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas - others are operated with modified service. Staying aware of these peak season dates is extremely helpful in building out your overall strategy.
Now, just because your freight is placed on a trailer before the holiday does not necessarily mean it will arrive there in time. Small and medium-sized businesses have to take extra precautions and really look at the bigger picture. This means that you must leave a few days in between to account for unexpected delays along the way.
Knowing what factors could affect your holiday shipment.
Another component of creating your holiday freight shipping plan is to understand the delays you may end up facing. In addition to knowing your blackout and modified service holiday dates, you need to know which day of the week they fall on. Holidays that fall just before or right after a weekend will require different departing windows and so on.
Also, keep up with the weather, especially on the destination side of things. Even if it means you are checking the forecast right down to the minute. Weather can turn on a dime, and you don’t want a small snow squall to be the factor that stood between your freight and its final destination. Look at previous forecasts and how other small and medium-sized businesses handled weather situations in the past to strengthen your strategy.
Finally, take a good hard look at the amount of freight you are planning on shipping. It might seem to be a simple enough task, but underestimating how much volume you have could lead to roadblocks later on. Take inventory and triple check freight dimensions to ensure everything will fit on the trailer.
Taking advantage of your resources.
Diving into the holiday freight shipping season can be quite the undertaking, especially if you’ve never done it before. Consider pairing up with an online freight service provider to help make sure you are staying on track and navigating the unexpected.
Working with a freight service provider has several benefits you may not be aware of, such as easier tracking and better access to a large carrier network. They will also offer alternative options should anything unforeseen occur. Walk through your plan with your provider ahead of time so that you can better allocate your time and money, utilize space, and boost productivity.
Finishing the job.
If you have a carefully-thought-out strategy ready to go for the holiday shipping season, all you have to do is wait for it to kick off. Remember to monitor the factors that could potentially cause delays and keep consistent communication so that your holiday season will be filled with nothing but cheer.
To learn more about how to plan for the upcoming holiday shipping season, read through our Holiday Shipping Guide. And, make sure to contact us today to speak with one of our experts.
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