Planning your freight leading into Christmas

Planning your freight leading into Christmas

November and December is the busiest time of the year in Logistics. Businesses ramp up production in preparation for having inventory moved out by the Christmas break. Consumer purchases also increase as November cyber sales and Christmas shopping begins.

Since the COVID pandemic peaked in Australia in March, the demand in freight has been consistently at the same level that carriers see over November and December each year. Transport giant AusPost has seen a 170% growth in Victoria as well as an 80% growth nationally.

This sudden and consistent increase for freight services has put significant strain on the logistics industry. Usually, carriers have months to prepare leading into a peak freight period to ensure they have the workforce and facilities to handle this increase in demand, whilst also maintaining the service levels expected of them. In 2020, there was almost no notice at all. On top of this demand for services, Victorian depots have been instructed to decrease their workforce by 33% to adhere to operational restrictions put forward by the government.

Leading into November and December freight requirements will continue to increase. With it will bring the potential of greater delays and Christmas cut offs brought forward to ensure all freight is delivered by the holiday break.

As consumers turn to eCommerce platforms now more than ever, there are significant online shopping dates which will see an enormous boom in online sales resulting in further demand for freight services. Click Frenzy kicks off the cyber sales on the 10th of November with Black Friday (27th of November) and Cyber Monday (30th November) following soon after.

Although these sales may not be directly associated with some industries, these industries will see the impact of the sales as the transport companies that they use to transport their goods will also be engaged with the pickup and deliveries of online shopping. As many begin their Christmas shopping earlier than usual to allow for freight delays, the peak season is set to start earlier and it’s expected this demand will not reduce until well into the new year.

“Since the COVID pandemic peaked in Australia in March, the demand in freight has been consistently at the same level that carriers see over November and December each year. Transport giant AusPost has seen a 170% growth in Victoria as well as an 80% growth nationally.”

As the new year draws closer, we continue to see the impacts that COVID has had on the Logistics Industry. Part of this has highlighted the need for all businesses to be resourceful, organized and fluid when navigating their business through a very different economy than what they are used to.

Leading into Christmas it is important to plan early and keep delays in mind. AusPost has released their recommended Christmas Scheduling dates to give your freight the best chance of arriving in time for Christmas.

They have suggested despatching Parcel Post by Saturday the 12th of December 2020 and Express Post by Saturday the 19th of December 2020. However, these dates should be used as guides only and are not guaranteed.

The destination of the freight and service that is booked will also play a major part in how your freight travels and the time it takes to arrive at the destination. In order to keep freight costs down, many businesses typically choose to send their products on the carriers cheapest service. This practice is suitable when the freight is not time-critical however, dispatching freight last minute and expecting an overnight delivery on a $10 service is not realistic.

Our suggestion is to plan ahead where you can to give your business the biggest possible window to have freight delivered to its destination. Communicate expectation levels with both suppliers and clients. Consider sending time-critical freight on express services with carriers who offer you transparency of your freight movements and easy communication channels for fast resolution.

If this area needs some improvement within your business but you’re unsure where to start, you can reach out to our team at any time for some advice and insight into how to reduce the strain on your own supply chain leading into what will be a chaotic next few months.

If you found this article helpful and want to learn more about navigating your freight through a pandemic  check out this article here

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