For the retail sector, Christmas isn’t just the season to be jolly. It is a critically important time for business, too, with some retailers seeing as much as a third of their total annual sales come in the pre-Christmas rush.
Yet there has not been a great deal of festive cheer doing the rounds in retail this year. Headlines have been full of doom and gloom stories about deliveries of merchandise not getting through, shelves running empty, and consumers being left disappointed in their search for the usual yuletide luxuries.
There’s no doubt the retail supply chain has been facing some unique challenges. Globally, the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe delays in shipping, meaning imported goods are arriving much later than usual (if at all).
In the UK, a well-document shortage of HGV drivers has added to the issues. On top of that, as far as moving goods between mainland Britain and Ireland is concerned, the continued wrangling over the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol has further complicated a tricky situation.
Some have referred to this as a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges which, if you believe the most pessimistic of forecasts, threaten to cancel Christmas as we know it. But as a third-party logistics company, we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves or make excuses at this time of year. Like Santa, we always deliver.
So how exactly do we prepare for the Christmas rush and make sure our retail clients get the goods they need in plenty of time?
One thing is for sure, no one can complain about the Christmas rush taking them by surprise. It happens at the same time every year, everyone knows retail demand is going to go through the roof, and logistics has to be planned accordingly.
We’ve also had plenty of advance warning about issues like shipping delays and driver shortages. If you know about challenges like these in plenty of time, you can find ways to work around them.
We’re not going to claim to be exactly like Santa Claus in spending the next 365 days after Christmas planning for the next one. But scaling up Christmas capacity plays an important role in our operational planning months in advance.
As a distribution firm that specialises in groupage and part loads, one big benefit we can offer to clients during the pre-Christmas rush is flexibility. It is services like ours that deliver on those last minute orders, those unexpected restocks when certain items sell better than expected, those late calls to a new supplier when an original order falls through.
Our standard services include next day or two day deliveries from the UK to Ireland. In addition, when time really is of the essence, we offer pre 9am, pre noon and Saturday deliveries all over Ireland.
We keep talking
Finally, one thing we pride ourselves on is strong communication with all of our clients. By building long-term relationships, we are in a position to involve retail customers in our festive planning. If we know what they need well in advance, we can take whatever steps we need to deliver.
Want to know more about our retail logistics services between the UK and Ireland? Please don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our friendly team.