The Holiday Shipping Logistics Crush of 2017
We are now in the thick of the holiday season. Lots of folks out there are spending quite a bit online to buy gifts for friends and loved ones, and this is where logistics come in. Without the right channels and people in the right places, those gifts will never reach their owners in time. Logistics refers to the complex operation between the point of origin of a product and its point of consumption. It is a highly specialized process that makes sure every item ordered is released from the manufacturer in top condition and gets all the way to the consumer unscathed.
What are the logistics of this holiday season?
We are past the middle of December, and this is a rather hectic time for consumers. While 25% of consumers already shopped in the month of November, the expectation is that 43% are still in the midst of their holiday shopping as the middle of December passes, and the statistics indicate that they are ready to splurge on gifts, with an estimated one third of household budgets going to gifts this month. The average family is going to spend a little over $1,200 on gifts, so logistics providers need to be ready to handle this kind of volume.
In order to understand how the 2017 season is stacking up from a logistical standpoint, we need to look at what happened in 2016. Omni-channel trades for that year’s holiday season amounted to $1 trillion. This year, experts project a 4.2% increase, which is saying something. E-commerce sales in particular totaled $110 billion, and there are excited murmurs about that rising 15.8% this year. Within the total e-commerce number, mobile commerce is also going to be a big deal this year, with an incredible 45% surge projected over 2016’s $22.7 billion in business.
It gets even better
Last year was “the year of massive parcels volumes,” as the holiday statistics would suggest.
- The United States Postal Services delivered 750 million packages.
- United Parcel Service did 700 million.
- FedEx did 357 million.
In 2016, retailers hired 738,800 temporary employees to manage the surge in gifts being transported across the country.
So, 2016 was a massive year for holiday season logistics. If preliminary figures are anything to go by, 2017 is going to be far bigger. Now more than ever, retailers, both online and bricks-and-mortar, need to really stay focused on prompt and accurate order fulfillment.
Oakland Bay Area Logistics