It’s the happiest (and busiest) shipping time of the year. Which means that now is the best time for small business shippers to start thinking about their holiday shipping plan. Here are a few things to keep mind when creating your holiday shipping game plan: Continue reading
6 Tips for Properly Preparing Your Packages This Holiday
In the rush to get orders out the door this holiday season, it’s easy to rush on properly prepping pallets and shipments, which when not properly prepared, can lead to damaged shipments. So we’ve made a quick list for you to check before sending your shipment on its merry way. Continue reading
The holiday season means new models of toys, new models of tech gadgets and yep, you guessed it, new rates from carriers. While it isn’t a particularly fun topic to stay abreast on, staying educated on new rates from carriers will give your business time to adapt for the holiday season and beyond.
Last year, UPS and FedEx announced that they would use the greater of the dimensional weight or the actual weight of a package as the billable weight for all domestic services in 2015. Dimensional weight pricing uses both weight and size when determining how much to charge for delivering a parcel. Best practices for dimensional weight pricing include using smaller, tighter packaging; avoiding over-boxing; and, if possible, for lighter items, consolidating several items into one box.
Another rate change announced by UPS and FedEx this year may have a noticeable impact on oversized shipments. UPS has established specific weight and size limits for packages. Packages that are “Over Maximum Limits” will not be accepted by UPS for transportation. If they are picked up by the driver in error, they will be subject to additional Over Maximum Limits charge.
Your Unishippers office can work with you to help identify new cost savings or opportunities in other parts of your shipping to help mitigate the potential impacts of rate changes.
When you tear open your present on Christmas morning and find that it’s the knit sweater from your Aunt Darlene that you’ve always never wanted (and it’s covered in cat hair). If you had only toned down your expectations earlier, you might not have been so disappointed. The same goes for managing your customer’s expectations during the busiest shipping time of the year.
If possible, recommend to your customers to place orders and ship as early as possible to account for any delays. And keep in mind, the holiday season brings with it winter storms, which can also cause unexpected delays. Make sure customers know how quickly orders can be filled and include the time it will take to get from point A to point B. And, become familiar with temporary changes to service guarantee commitments for small package shipments, which are typically extended during the peak of the season.
Also, it’s a good idea to be aware of carrier’s holiday shipping schedules. The majority of shippers will not deliver packages on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
Rising shipping volumes and longer transit times during the holiday season can be stressful for small- to mid- size businesses. But focusing on the aspects of the shipping process that can be controlled can help make the season still stay bright. (We make no promises about having to wear that sweater to your family get together, though).
Sometimes, bad stuff just happens. Like your cousin Eddie shows up unannounced with his mobile home or your boss gives you a subscription to a Jelly of the Month club instead of a bonus check – or your shipment arrives damaged. The important thing to remember this holiday season is not to panic and have a response plan for damages in place before it happens. Here are some things to keep in mind while you are creating your response plan: Continue reading
Think of your pallet as the perfect Christmas present under the tree. The edges are nice and crisp, the wrapping paper is smooth and the bow is perfectly centered. Then along comes your kid, grabbing presents at random, shaking them and tearing at the edges to see what’s inside. All of the sudden, your present looks like it was, in fact, wrapped by a 5 year old. If a kid can ruin your award-worthy present wrapping skills under the tree, just imagine what a forklift can do to your pallet if it’s not properly prepared beforehand. Check out these simple – yet sometimes overlooked – steps you can take this holiday season to prevent damage. Continue reading