What should you know about shipping around the holidays?

The holiday shipping season is in full swing around the country. From families sending out their holiday cards to small businesses working overtime to get their orders out before Christmas or Hanukkah, this is the busiest shipping season of the year by far. Your company might need to get out packages on time, but your orders will be vying for attention among millions of other parcels, letters and mail.

Major delivery service providers claim they can handle the influx
UPS, FedEx and other delivery service providers explained that they expect this influx of mail every year – and are more than prepared to handle it. Both UPS and FedEx stated that they have taken special precautions to open up new facilities to house the packages, brought on thousands of seasonal workers and upgraded their current supply chain technology to track the flow of packages and mail more efficiently.

For example, the United States Postal Service said that it will process an estimated 16 billion items – with 750 million being packages – from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. According to USPS, this is a 12 percent increase from 2015. The delivery service provider said it hoped to hire at least 35,000 seasonal workers to help with the holiday rush.

"The United States Postal Service will process an estimated 16 billion items."

"Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters," PMG Megan J. Brennan remarked. "With the Postal Service's unrivaled network and expanded 7-day-a-week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that's exactly what we'll do this holiday season."

With the rise in popularity of e-commerce shopping, many of these are online orders. USA Today reported that Adobe Digital Insights found that from Nov. 1 to Dec. 13, online shoppers spent an estimated $66.91 billion, which is an increase of over 8 percent compared to last year.

How can your company reduce shipping costs?
The holiday season shipping rush is not the only issue manufacturers and retailers should be concerned about. Entrepreneur reported that most of the major shipping providers increase their parcel rates and surcharges from late December to February. Some of these extra costs include extended area delivery, fuel fees and residential delivery. So how can your organization get your products out on time and without amassing significant extra costs? Here are a few helpful ideas:

  1. Compare costs for shipments and different providers: Not all shipping providers offer the same prices or fees, which is why it is essential for companies to look around and compare various costs. Depending on if you ship in bulk or individual orders, you might find the benefits of working with certain shipping providers over others. Once you find the carrier that works best with your orders, consider establishing a business account with them. This way, you can benefit from expense tracking, online tools and maybe even receive a discount or two.
  2. Upgrade to a cloud-based shipping solution: Do your employees use an app to send customer confirmations, track shipments and compare shipping rate? In today's competitive marketplace, your company cannot afford not to upgrade to a cloud-based shipping service. This will allow your workers to access essential shipping and product information from anywhere and at anytime. 
  3. Improve your barcode and shipping labels: Nothing causes more of a breakdown in an efficient supply chain than dealing with faded or unreliable barcode labels. This problem can also lead to heightened shipping costs if the carriers are consistently having to replace or track down lost packages due to poor labeling. Stop wasting money and time with outdated barcode labeling options or applications and upgrade to thermal transfer labels. Among many other benefits, they remain intact throughout the entire production and distribution cycle. 

At Stranco, we offer high-performance thermal transfer labels for manufacturers in a wide variety of industries. We understand that you need to access data quickly and reliably throughout the manufacturing and supply chain processes, which is why we are confident our label materials will not fail when faced with high temperatures or excessive moisture.

Speak with one of our representatives to learn more about our affordable pricing, quick shipping and low order minimums. Whether you are a large-scale manufacturer or a small startup organization, you need to invest in labels you can rely on during the busy holiday season. Contact us today.

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