By Zach Blank
For delivery services, 2020 has been the busiest year in history by far. And we’re only in November. But the news is not all good.
With the record-breaking sales in e-commerce has come a volume of deliveries that has caused many distributors’ supply chains to fail, putting some companies out of business.
With the pressure of meeting the holiday shipping demands mounting higher and higher, preparation will be paramount.
As we approach Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales in the United States, the delivery industry is preparing for perhaps the most challenging two-month period in delivery service history.
If you are looking to survive or make a profit, there are several things you need to know for the Mount Everest of holiday peak seasons.
How Should I Prepare for this Peak Delivery Season?
The key to surviving this holiday season consists of knowing three key pieces of information: the effects of COVID-19 on ecommerce, how to scale your logistics operation to meet the shifts in delivery demand, and which route optimization software will maximize your peak-capacity capabilities.
The more you understand and streamline your workflow before the peak season truly hits, the more profitable your company will be.
THE EXPLOSION OF E-COMMERCE
In 2019, Ecommerce set new records for online retail penetration, commanding 16% of total retail sales, an increase of 10% since 2010 according to Digital Commerce 360.
In just the “peak season,” the period starting around Halloween and running through Christmas in the US, the fourth quarter of 2019 saw e-commerce hitting 18% of all retail sales.
Going off the data available, 2020 was set to become the biggest peak season ever by a fairly large margin.
That fairly large margin became gargantuan when the pandemic arrived.
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON DELIVERY SERVICES
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown orders, shopping from home has reached levels thought not to be possible for another two years according to the retail research group eMarketer.
The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research says that 42% of American labourers are now working virtually from home.
That explains the boom in packages needing to be delivered, but also presents a grave concern to the shipping and delivery industry.
Because COVID-19 has spurred such a huge volume of shipping demand this year, the major leaders in traditional shipping and delivery – UPS, FedEx, and USPS- have already reached their excess capacity.
Multichannel Merchant’s Mike O’Brien released a special report stating that the COVID-19 effect on e-commerce has created peak-like conditions dating back to spring for delivery services, which is “sending demand and costs soaring.”
To keep supply chains alive and expand them where possible, the major carrier services are placing a peak surcharge of close to $5 per package on delivery services who specialize in “last-mile” service.
Last-mile service is the delivery of products from the last distribution hub to the ultimate destination, which is usually someone’s residential home. But even with the added surcharge fees on last-mile service providers, the increased capacity requirements may still overpower the majors.
The software goliath Salesforce has weighed in on the situation, claiming that the overall volume of packages will exceed shipping capacity globally by 5%.
This means millions of gifts may not arrive on time for the holidays. To mitigate this potential crisis, delivery service alternatives will have to be explored.
RETAILERS ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GIGS
In anticipation of the biggest shopping season ever, retailers are searching far and wide for a solution to the problem of overburdened shipping and delivery networks from the major carriers. The answer may be found in the gig economy.
Salesforce has reported that some retailers are “crowdsourcing last-mile carriers through the gig economy” in hopes of relieving some of the “strain placed on traditional carriers.”
With lockdown measures and social distancing protocols all but killing off the traditional ridesharing arm of the gig economy, this is a new and much needed opportunity for gig workers to earn extra income performing delivery duties for retailers such as Best By and Target.
To those who are unemployed or proprietors looking to expand business, this may be your opportunity.
THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS THIS SEASON- ROUTE OPTIMIZATION SOFTWARE
This holiday season, there is one key factor that will make or break the successful delivery of your packages to their destinations: route optimization software.
Whether you work for a major carrier or a gig company, a delivery route planner will be used by every hauling truck or personal vehicle to get packages from the warehouse to the doorstep.
For shipping and delivery managers, there is only one route planner you can trust: Straightway Route Planner.
WHAT MAKES STRAIGHTAWAY THE BEST DELIVERY ROUTE PLANNER?
What makes Straightaway Route Planner stand out from other route optimization apps is its versatility.
Whether a gig worker or a professional, delivery drivers across FedEx, UPS, DHL, onTrac, and Amazon use Straightaway for its rich feature set, including a seamless navigational integration system paired to its industry-leading route optimization algorithm.
The Straightaway Route Planner incorporates every necessary feature to ensure the most successful and efficient delivery possible:
● The fastest route in the quickest time: Straightaway’s best-in-class route algorithm can organize up to 250 stops in the quickest order in just seconds. The algorithm can also account for traffic, road closures, speed limits, and weather conditions in real-time.
● Map stops with just a photo: Take a picture of the address on your phone and Straightaway instantly maps the route on your screen.
● No-Fuss Navigation: Straightaway has turn-by turn navigation built right in, meaning your driver’s attention will be on the road at all times and not on flipping screens.
Users save an average of 1 hour over competing delivery route planner apps with Straightway. Can you imagine what an extra hour could do for your business?
● More stops in an hour’s time
● Avoid peak hour traffic
● Less gas used- more money saved
● Increase delivery volume without having to hire more employees
● Avoid overtime pay by finishing the deliveries faster
BE PREPARED FOR THE SHOPPING SEASON
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to make extra money during the peak season or a manager with a traditional carrier, online retail orders are going to reach new record heights.
Author’s Bio :
Zach Blank is the co-founder of the route optimization software Straightaway, which saves delivery businesses time and money with efficient route planning.
To maximize your potential earnings, be prepared with the best delivery route planner available for delivery services. Get Straightaway.