National Pallets, a UK-based shipping company, reports increased interest in early holiday pallet shipments in 2016. In recent years the dynamics around holiday shopping have been evolving, largely in response to the prevalence of online shopping and big box stores – and many groups noted that in 2015 holiday shopping was beginning as early as September. Rather than stockpiling for a sudden surge of shoppers in late November, manufactures and retailers are now preparing to have products available starting in early autumn.
But there’s more. Due to the relative ease of comparison pricing online, shoppers are increasingly investigating prices prior to purchase. In many cases consumers are evaluating purchases months before the shopping season begins. Big box stores, in an effort to compete with the 24/7 access provided by online stores, are offering extended holiday sales and providing online shopping options.
What Extended Holiday Shopping Means for Shippers
With holiday shopping now running from September to December, there is more pressure on manufacturers to ship products to retailers earlier. At this same time the extended shopping season has made warehousing more of a challenge. Rather than stock to the rafters braced for a few weeks of intense holiday shopping, the retailers need a steady supply of product to meet supply from the end of summer onwards. One option for medium and small-sized manufacturers is to ship individual pallets rather than try to combine shipments into truckloads. This allows for more regular scheduling of deliveries to meet demand.
For shippers who aren’t catering to holiday shoppers, the change in shopping patterns presents its own challenge. Each year large online retail companies like Amazon.com corner a larger segment of the holiday market, increasing the number of small parcels handled by FedEx and other parcel delivery companies. This can make it more difficult for other businesses to secure timely parcel deliveries during the holiday season. Companies shipping larger items or multiple smaller parcels can avoid these issues by consolidating multiple parcels onto a single pallet.
Pallet couriers have made it simple for businesses and individuals to economically ship pallets of freight across the UK and throughout Europe and beyond.