November through January are massive months for any retailer, especially one that relies on shipping to meet delivery deadlines. This year has seen many logistics struggles, so it’s safe to say the holiday season could be calamitous without some strategic planning in place.
As a high-volume shipper, you must be on your A-game this holiday season. So, follow our holiday shipping tips to help keep your customers happy and orders flowing through.
Be on the Lookout for Spot Quotes
Spot quotes are shipping quotes that shippers usually only have available for a very short time (usually a day). These quotes typically save money on shipping costs because they are a carrier’s attempt to fill in space in the most strategic way possible.
You must reach out to a carrier when you find a spot quote. These quotes get snatched up quickly. Thus, it’s essential that your logistics team has shipping software on hand that can alert you of the latest spot quotes the instant they’re available.
See if You Can Qualify as a Volume Rate Shipment
Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping can get expensive during the holiday season. However, if you believe your LTL shipment may qualify as a volume rate shipment, you could save money on shipping services.
A volume rate shipment typically qualifies as a minimum of 5,000 pounds load. Work with your logistics team to understand which shipments could save on shipping and find the best volume shipping rates you can take advantage of before space fills up.
Plan for Using Different Carriers
On-time delivery for high-volume orders is paramount during the holiday season. So, avoid shipping delays and plan to work with multiple carriers to fulfill your orders. Work with your logistics team to find the latest “last day to ship deadlines,” affordable rates, and instant delivery capabilities for different carrier options.
If you can diversify your carriers, it may not guarantee perfect deliveries during the busiest time of the year; but it will definitely give you a leg up on the competition.
Ask Your Logistics Team About Partner Rates
Spot quotes and planning for multiple carriers are a great way to save money on high-volume shipments. However, your logistics partner could offer you even more savings during the holiday season just for being a partner.
We likely have connections and market insight that goes beyond the average customer’s knowledge. So, it’s always best to ask about partner rates and how you can shop around for your high-volume shipment.
Streamline Your Picking and Packing Services
Your logistics team should always have an up-to-date warehouse management system (WMS) that can help streamline the picking and packing process. This is extremely important when your deadline includes shipping an expensive high-volume shipment.
When you have an excellent WMS in play, it’s easy to instantly locate where items are in a warehouse, which team is closest to grab it, and avoid massive packing mistakes.
Have a Customer Service Strategy in Your Back Pocket
Even if your logistics team has everything under control, it’s always possible for something to go wrong and a customer becomes disgruntled. Whether your customers have issues with shipping delays or mismatched items, the holidays are the most important time of the year to have a solution ready.
Work with your logistics team to prepare for the worst. Rather than give excuses, put actionable solutions in place like increasing supervision of the packing process or integrating an instant delivery platform for your customer.
Keep the Holiday Season Merry and Bright With GFS Logistics
If you know this holiday season is going to be busier than usual. It’s always great to have a reliable logistics team on your side. At GFS Logistics, we are always prepared for any shipping rush and utilize our experience, expansive warehouse, and up-to-date technology to help you meet deadlines and save money.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you streamline your supply chain process before the rush hits.