It’s time to break out the cozy sweaters and grandma’s recipe book: the holiday season is here. As we enter this festive time, it’s crucial to understand the current state of the shipping industry to ensure timely deliveries and a smooth ordering experience.
Despite economic uncertainties, consumers continue to defy expectations by opening their wallets. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual pace of 4.9% in July, August, and September—outpacing the 4.7% estimate.
Much of the spending is being done online. Deloitte is forecasting a 10.3% to 12.8% increase in 2023 holiday e-commerce sales compared to the 7.9% growth witnessed last year.
This year, as in the past, we can anticipate the usual challenges of the holiday shipping season. Shipping costs have stabilized, yet carriers have again implemented a “peak season” charge through early January 2024. Additionally, unpredictable weather conditions like snow, rain, and sleet can lead to bottlenecks and delays.
To help you and other O&P professionals ensure timely deliveries of critical devices for patients, we’ve put together some best practices for the peak holiday season:
Best Practices for ordering O&P during the peak holiday season
Review the carrier’s holiday schedule (see FedEx) and any changes to service time-in-transit windows when scheduling patient visits and make necessary adjustments.
Keep in mind that the busiest period for shipping is from December 14 to December 24. If possible, plan in advance to ensure the package is in transit prior to December 14.
Upgrade Your Shipping Method:
Upgrading the shipping method to expedite shipments should be considered to meet scheduling deadlines for sensitive deliveries. We recommend customers upgrade when ordering a high-dollar and/or highly time-sensitive item. However, keep in mind that choices such as shipping Priority Overnight versus Standard Overnight can have cost impacts.
Sign-up for Notifications:
Sign up to receive advance shipping notifications via your ecommerce platform or parcel carrier.
Hold at Locations:
Check to see where your nearest Hold at Location is for your carrier and use this service to pick-up packages outside of normal clinic hours.
Nobody enjoys waiting for packages, but by leveraging tools available and with a little strategic planning, your clinic will navigate another peak holiday shipping season successfully.
Want more shipping tips? Check out 4 Ways Your Clinic Can Save Money on Shipping.
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