Top Tips for Sending Freight During the Peak Holiday Season

The end-of-year holiday season is one of the busiest times of year in the freight and logistics industry.

With online shopping on the rise, and the impacts of COVID-19 still being felt there is more pressure on the freight network than we’ve seen in decades.

December is already here. So how are you going to deliver a seamless and positive freight experience for your customers throughout the holiday and peak sales season?

Freight People are here to help. These are our top freight tips for the peak holiday season, as well as a handy cheat sheet with Christmas freight cut-off dates so you can make sure your goods find their way to their destination on time.

Plan early

The best way to ensure your freight is delivered on time, is to plan early. Through timely planning we can lock in your freight early, ensuring your goods are delivered on time. For important consignments, we recommend allowing an extra day’s travel for the busy period, to avoid disappointment.

And this isn’t just for Christmas. Think ahead to sales season too. Anything you can plan for now, will set you up for a better customer experience come Boxing Day.

Labelling, labelling, labelling!
As simple as this sounds, one of the most common causes of delays and lost freight is labelling issues. This includes things like poorly printed labels 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 can 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Mislabelled, misspelt, incomplete or outdated addresses are often the culprit of delayed or lost items.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. Don’t forget to include a phone number!

Ensure packaging is ‘travel ready’

The correct packaging is always critical. But during busy periods where freight carriers are dealing with excess demand and tend to be more rushed, packaging is even more important.

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. Be patient. Be kind. It’s the true meaning of Christmas after all.

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 Christmas cut-off dates for express freight:

At this time of year, for all general freight and freight bookings we recommend allocating an extra day.

Our professional and informative Customer Care Team are ready to help should you require some expert advice. If you need help organising freight, call us on 1800 621 036.