This holiday season retailers will not only have to contend with decreased carrier capacity due to the pandemic but also the anticipated influx of mail-in election ballots – all of which could result in a “super peak” holiday nightmare for retailers. Now is the time to implement strategies to ensure they can keep up with demand.
The U.S. Post Office is taking the unprecedented step of seeking a peak surcharge in anticipation of huge holiday demand for ecommerce parcel shipping. If approved the increases would take effect from Oct. 18 to Dec. 27, ranging from an additional 24 cents to $1.50 more per package, across all its products.
The U.S. Postal Service is projecting it will handle 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a drop from both 2018 and 2017. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 24 to high-volume urban locations, with projections of over 8 million package deliveries on Sundays in December.
Retailers lowered the bar for Christmas season fulfillment, then easily cleared it, according to Kurt Salmon. Ninety-three percent of retailers tracked were able to process and deliver customer orders by the last guaranteed delivery date. But 33% of them ditched their last order promise date as Christmas approached.
FedEx is testing the use of autonomous tugs to transport items within its sortation and distribution facilities in an effort to handle the growing volume of bulky ecommerce orders more efficiently. See what other types of automation the carrier is using to optimize the massive flow of packages through its network at peak.
If you haven’t formally evaluated your peak season fulfillment, make this the year you do so. From your analysis of ecommerce operations successes and failures, you can develop a plan to make improvements using a multi-faceted approach. Here are 10 ways to analyze your performance and develop a plan for improvement.
Customer experience can suffer if an ecommerce fulfillment center is unable to quickly scale its operations, but not every company has the resources to respond swiftly. If you’d like to stay one step ahead of demand, consider these 3 analytics strategies to manage planned (and unplanned) peak seasons.