With December just around the corner and such a disrupted year, you don’t need to be reminded that the festive season is one of the busiest times of the year. With a combination of increased demand and supply chain pressures being prepared for the holiday rush is critical to ensuring a positive customer experience.
To help, we’ve compiled our top freight tips below to ensure your shipments get where they need to be, as well as a handy cheat sheet with cut-off dates so they make it on time.
Labelling, labelling, labelling!
As simple as this sounds, one of the most common causes of delays and lost freight is labelling issues. This may include poor printing quality, lost labels or damaged packaging that makes the shipping details illegible. Making sure your labels are properly applied, easy to read and affixed on both sides of your packaging will make the difference between an on-time shipment and a frustrated customer.
Ensure receiver contact details are complete and correct
Mislabelled, misspelt, incomplete or outdated addresses are often the culprit of delayed or lost items. Ensure the most up-to-date sender and receiver contact details are completed in full, ideally including a mobile phone number.
Ensure packaging is ‘travel ready’
The correct packaging is always critical but particularly during busy periods where freight carriers are dealing with excess demand and tend to be more rushed. Freight should be palletised where possible, and wrapped with industry-standard pallet wrap. For longer distances, wrap three times around pallets and ensure freight sits inside the footprint of the pallet.
Ensure ASNs and invoice processes are followed
Many major receivers such as Coles, Kmart and Bunnings require an invoice to be attached to the front of the goods, as well as ASN completed prior to delivery. Failure to do so can result in the goods being rejected.
Use express services rather than general
General services can sometimes become very general over Christmas and may wind up taking much longer than your usual transit times. Going express may cost a little more but will improve delivery times and provide your buyers with the peace of mind that their orders will arrive in time for Christmas.
Be flexible on your pick-up window
Just like you, carriers will also be dealing with large volume increases. While they will do their best to ensure your pick-up is within the advised window, they may be delayed from time to time.
Allocate an extra transit day from now until Christmas
As with any peak season, there are large influxes in freight and excess demand – plan accordingly by adding an extra day to your freight timelines. And don’t be afraid to over-communicate with customers as you prepare them for these minimal delays.
Final dispatch deadlines for Christmas deliveries
We’ll be working extra hard this year to get your freight to all corners of the country on time. To help with your planning, take note of the following cut-off dates for express freight:
Freight People are here to help make the festive season a smoother experience for you and your team. If you have any questions or need assistance you can contact us on 1800 621 036.