I know some people might think that I have posted this far too early and that “It’s only October“, but if you look carefully I’m not the only one. The Christmas adverts are starting to sneak onto the television, we’re already at the school half term break, and people are more regularly using the phrase “Only ___ days left to Christmas” (I’ve left it blank for you to fill in your own number depending on when you read this).
As the nights draw in, the temperature drops and before you know it Halloween and Bonfire Night have passed and the retail industry heads into a full ‘snowball effect’ as people shop more and more with each passing day right up to the big event.
Now this usually brings about a tidal wave of extra work for the transport and logistics industry. Parcel delivery companies typically see a huge increase in home deliveries since the arrival of internet shopping, the larger haulier’s fill up lorries ready for resupplying the stores and the express logistics providers (such as ourselves) are often kept busy shipping goods and materials to the manufacturers and the wholesalers. And that is why I try to remind the people I work with each year to try and plan well ahead.
If there’s one thing working in the magazine publishing industry taught me, it’s that you get to know that each year certain events come around that you can plan ahead for. We used to produce an Autumn supplement in May, our following year’s calendar would be created in the Autumn and our Christmas editions would be all but printed weeks before Christmas.
Although there are many tasks that can only be handled on a given day, there are some we can be proactive about. There is almost always someone left disappointed by not receiving a delivery on time. Whether it’s a parcel that arrived late to your home, a pallet of goods didn’t get to the shops on time or some materials didn’t reach the manufacturers to complete an order.
I understand that not everyone can plan too far ahead as you can’t be sure of just what contracts or orders you will even get, but we know from experience that the sheer volume of work leaves many operators in need of extra drivers and/or vehicles, and on top of that we all know in the UK that the weather can always manage to stick a spanner in the works, blocking roads and causing chaos.
So this Christmas, do something nice – call your courier company in October so that your deliveries are booked in before anyone else.
If you need help planning for Christmas, visit the countdown clock