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Holiday Returns to Set New Record in 2019?

‘Tis the season in more ways than one!  The holidays are upon us and it is no secret that holidays mean gifts, purchases, and a whirlwind of intertwining logistic solutions.  However, one thing often overlooked are the rate of returns during this time of year. 

On November 4th, UPS predicted that this year’s holiday returns will peak at 1.9 million packages on January 2nd, an estimated increase of 26% compared to last year.  This includes the forecasted 1.6 million returns per day the week before Christmas Day because of retail promotions that encourage shoppers to buy gifts early.  USPS is also anticipating almost 2.5 billion pieces of first-class mail (e.g. holiday greeting cards) to be processed during the week of December 16th.

Nowadays, 73% of shoppers are influenced by the return experience of a brand.  Based on their return experience, determines on whether or not they would make another purchase from that company in the future.  Now, more than ever, convenient return policies are in high demand and gives retailers a competitive edge in ecommerce. 

“We estimate UPS will deliver more than 32 million packages per day in the U.S. and around the world, an increase of more than 50% over our regular daily volume,” said Matthew O’Connor, UPS senior manager for public relations.

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/holiday-season-returns-will-set-record-ups-predicts

USPS is already making Sunday deliveries in select major cities and will expand that service to other areas with high package volumes in anticipation of delivering an upward of 800 packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  USPS has also announced that for an additional fee, it would make deliveries in select locations on Christmas Day.

Experts suggests that regardless of tariffs, our economy is still growing.  Most likely, Christmas in 2019 will be better than last years.  So, buckle up, logistics experts and providers!  It’s going to be one bustling holiday season!


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Top 3 Tips to Keep up with Holiday Demands

The busiest season in logistics is undoubtedly during the holidays.  It requires a lot of planning and attention to detail.  If you don’t already have a game plan, it may already be too late as inventories increase as early as August in anticipation for the end-of-the-year bustle.  In this blog, we’ll cover the top 3 tips to keep up with holiday demands.

Tip #1 – Take the Initiative and be Proactive

Every year, the average consumer spends around $800 for gifts, shopping as early as October.  Companies must be in constant communication with their carriers as they will be in high demand over the next few weeks. In 2013, Amazon sold more products than they initially anticipated, making UPS, Fed-Ex, and other partners struggle to keep up with the demands.  In fact, many packages that year did not make it in time.  UPS and FedEx actually deal with a lot of outside carriers prior to the holidays for extra transportation support which is why communication and reassuring capacity concerns are being addressed is so crucial during this time. 

Tip #2 – Go over Last Year’s Results

Re-familiarize yourself with last year’s numbers and recognize all the wins and losses from that year.  Have a meeting with your team to go over what went well, and what could’ve been done better to avoid making the same mistakes this year.

Tip #3 – Embrace the Chaos

While it is important to always have a plan B, C, and D during the holidays, recognize that operations aren’t ever going to be perfect during this time of year.  You can always set deadlines earlier and plan for increased staffing needs to compensate for any foreseeable delays but, things are going to be hectic! All that will be in your realm of control is to be prepared, plan well, and stay flexible. 


Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you can get the best of our blog on a monthly basis straight to your inbox!.

We offer competitively low prices, end-to-end solutions, and one-on-one attention for every client– large or small. Contact us today to see how we can fulfill your logistic needs!