It's not yet time for eggnog and fruitcake, but the holidays are on their way – and that means that the peak shipping season is approaching.
"Every company has a peak season, and Christmas-time is ours," says Donnie Nunley, UPS package planning manager. "Our volume grows exponentially as we get close to Christmas." Just as your staff works extra hard to keep up with the holiday rush, so do UPS employees. Here are some things you can do to keep your shipping operation running smoothly during the holiday season:
1. Keep your UPS driver in the loop about changes in your operation. A large increase or decrease in your shipping volume, a change in operating hours or a significant volume shift in UPS services, such as from UPS Ground to UPS 2nd Day Air®, could affect your driver's handling of your pickup. "If you let your driver know ahead of time, we can prepare for your changes," Nunley says.
2. Have packages ready at pickup time. "Our drivers aren't going home each night until their trucks are empty," says Jim Dunn, UPS corporate industrial engineering manager. So it helps your driver and all the other folks along the route if pickups are ready to go when your driver arrives.
3. Plan ahead for holiday operating hours – and ship early when possible. Although UPS makes every effort to deliver holiday ground shipments with the same transit times as the rest of the year, we can't guarantee UPS Ground shipments during the two weeks before Christmas due to unusually high volume. A good rule of thumb is to allow seven business days for ground shipments during those last two weeks, particularly for long distances; your shipment may arrive sooner, of course. You'll get a precise answer on how long it will take, depending on ZIP Codes, by using the Time and Cost Calculator.
4. Package safely. It always makes good sense to package your shipments to avoid damages en route, but it's especially important during peak season, when UPS processing facilities and delivery vehicles are operating at high capacity. Learn 10 packaging tips from a UPS pro.
5. Reduce confusion and congestion on your shipping dock. By making UPS your sole shipping source, you'll discover even greater volume discounts and the most reliable service in the industry. Contact your UPS account representative if you need customized support.