Take a deep breath…Merry Christmas!
By Bruce Baring
You are likely done taking orders for delivery by Christmas – unless you happen to be Amazon and have an exclusive Sunday delivery program with USPS.
By all accounts, it will be another record setting year for ecommerce sales and the 800 pound gorilla continues to grow and take market share. Volumes have surpassed even the parcel carriers’ forecasts and seem to be straining the last mile network.
Based on personal observations and experiences this year, the parcel networks’ capacity continues to lag demand. Perhaps it is the pervasiveness of social media, but I have never heard as many complaints about delayed packages, misdelivered packages, and missing packages as I have this year. I myself am currently waiting on a package without a confirmed delivery date due to a ‘carrier delay’ with a promise that it may arrive by December 28, and I have tracked one package that traveled from Chattanooga to Atlanta to Richmond to Columbia and then back to Atlanta.
I have seen some innovative practices. UPS for several years has set up a temporary hub in our neighborhood and utilized golf carts pulling trailers for deliveries. It seems that USPS has not been as creative and the postal carriers struggle with having to make several trips to the post office to reload due to the Amazon volumes exceeding the capacity of their delivery vehicles. We are still waiting on one of my son’s birthday cards – and his birthday was December 12!
I hope your fulfilment operations performed better than the carriers this year, and that all of us in the supply chain universe will eventually get a handle on every aspect of the direct to consumer model.
For now, I’m taking a deep breath and stepping back for some much needed peace, comfort and joy.
All of us at Peach State wish you a relaxing holiday season and hope you join us in looking forward to a very productive and prosperous 2018!