Shipping This Holiday Season? Be Prepared
Nov 17, 2020
We knew it was a matter of time. Everything in 2020 is different. Everything we knew to be true in the past is pretty much out the window.
But shipping and delivery?
It seems to be one of the few things that has gotten us thru this pandemic. While we were "hold up" in our houses, we could count on UPS, Fedex, USPS, and Amazon to deliver things that we needed (and a lot of things that we didn't need) that helped keep us somewhat sane!
So what's different now?
Over the past few years the holiday season has gotten progressively more challenging for the large carriers. More and more people are shopping online, so more and more packages are being delivered.
But this holiday season could be the armageddon of all holiday seasons for business deliveries.
Here are things to consider:
- More people than ever before are ordering products online.
- UPS, Fedex, the USPS have been stretched to record delivery levels over the last 7months.
- Now we add the "traditional" holiday shopping, which is NOT so traditional this year.
- More lockdowns seem to be coming in different states.
This all adds up to record setting consumer spending online this holiday season.
What About My Business Shipping?
All of these factors have and will continue to have a bigger impact on business shipping and delivery. If you're shipping holiday gifts to employees or customers, I hate to tell you this but the clock is ticking. And it's ticking quickly.
If you're ordering supplies or products for your business, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But you're clock is also ticking. Your orders are going to be caught up with all the other holiday chaos.
This seems pretty simple, but I've been doing this for years, and it happens all the time. Our customers, and everyone else's customers, seem to wait until the very last minute. And in most normal years, we could make the miracle happen. Some how. Some way. We got what everyone needed to them, when they needed it.
Not this year. I foresee a lot of frustration in the very near future.
What Should Businesses Do
The solution is not very complicated.
- Don't procrastinate.
- If you are ordering business gifts for your customers or employees. Do it NOW!
- You may not find the PERFECT gift, but this year I would encourage you to lower your procrastination levels and make your decisions soon.
- If you need supplies to run your business. Order them NOW!
- If you need PPE for home or business. Order it NOW!
Chinese New Year
As a not so distant side note, the Chinese New Year starts in February. Everything in China will shut down. Since 80% of the world's PPE is manufactured in China, all PPE will be impacted. So if you think things are going to get better in the next few months, then do nothing!
However, if you think that things will stay the same or get a bit worse, I would order my PPE very soon.
I am a person who likes to have a "plan b", however this pandemic has stretched me to come up with solutions that have traditionally worked in the past. So my advice is very simple.
- Act sooner than later.
- Be kind to the people who are doing their very best to try to help you navigate these waters.
- Show gratitude as often as possible because these people are trying their very best.
- Be patient.
And remember in the end, don't sweat the small stuff.
Rich Mistkowski is the President of Proforma Marblehead Marketing, a marketing services provider who offers technology enabled promotional products and print solutions. He's the dad of a daughter who is studying Interior design and a teenage son who was born with down syndrome. His key to life is a lesson he learned from his kids and his late wife Lisa. Life is short, no matter what, we need to find joy in each and every day.