Amazon, Royal Mail and DPD are feeling the strain already.
Some time ago we were approached by Amazon Shipping who wanted to bring us onboard to use their shipping services. The reaction among our customers was very mixed ranging from excited through to trepidation and scorn. Their business practices were mentioned!
Aside from this, Amazon then rather quickly withdrew their offer and told us they were already on overload and were not taking on any new business until 2021 at least. This was in August this year.
Since then we've had a communication from DPD with week with limits on the number of parcels per collection and we are receiving regular emails from Royal Mail about certain postal code areas throughout the country that are experiencing delays.
That's totally RUBBISH, I thought.
However, I am actually very grateful that, DPD especially, had the foresight and gumption to warn us and let us know they would experience difficulties with the huge surge in volume. They also have come up with a plan and the solution will be collections over the weekends - which of course we are planning towards ourselves.
Royal Mail, on the other hand, seem to be informing us after issues occur, by which time it is too late as the parcels are already in their network.
We are experiencing more than a 500% uplift in activity already this year compared to 2019 here at OFEX, I can only assume the distribution networks are experiencing the same, if not more.
So what do we do?
We need to ask all our customers to place their orders with us as early as they possibly can - i.e NOW - so that they are guaranteed to have whatever their hearts so desire before Christmas.
It really will be worthwhile communicating these distribution network pressures upstream in advance with all your own customers. Being upfront and open about it (despite it not being particularly good news) means that being forewarned, is forearmed.
Pass it on! ;o)
P.S. I'm rather proud to say we aren't feeling the strain at all yet. Yes, it is busy. We're now sending thousands of orders each day. We are just warming up though ;o)
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