In a simpler time, people didn’t start worrying about the Christmas season until after Thanksgiving. Then it was after Halloween. Now, basically once summer is over (which it officially was as of the September 23rd), people start their holiday shopping.
In fact, over 15% of people have actually already started their holiday shopping, and it’s only going to increase. With an online market that’s growing faster than in-store retail, shippers and suppliers need to be prepared for the surge of business coming their way, especially in the realm of small package shipping.
It used to be that the general consumer would group their purchases together online to save on shipping. Or they’d only buy bigger ticket items online. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to buy an $8 movie online if you have to pay $5 in shipping. Thanks to the rise of free shipping though, consumers are making one-off purchases and buying smaller items regularly online.
Whether it’s books, movies, clothes, or some other small object, consumers are buying a little of individual presents one at a time, and that requires a lot of small package service.
So as we head into the holiday-season gauntlet, here’s what you should know about small package shipping so that you’re ready.
What is small package shipping?
A small package (or parcel, if you prefer) is generally classified as any envelope or box that weighs in under 50 pounds. These packages are typically placed on pallets and moved with LTL (less-than-truckload) shipping.
Due to intricacies of the shipments, which each item having its own label, tracking code, and ultimately, destination, these shipments require great precision.
Who handles small package shipping?
A freight forwarder who contracts with various carriers to move these individual items in larger volumes often handles the shipment of small packages. These freight forwarders generally have negotiated rates and a network of routes, enabling them to secure competitive, affordable shipping costs.
The carriers who generally provide small package shipping are UPS, FedEx, USPS, and more recently DHL.
What should I look for in small package shipping services?
Truthfully, the requirements of small package shipping are largely similar to any other shipping needs: on-time delivery, visibility, cost-effectiveness, and safe handling.
With the time sensitivity of the holiday season and the consumer based nature, on-time delivery is particularly important. When a customer is ordering a present for someone, they want it by the date their promised. The holiday season can, unfortunately, bring out the worst in people, and few things due that like delayed shipments.
Cost-effectiveness is also key. With so many individual items at high volumes, small package shipping costs can escalate rapidly if they’re not handled correctly. Working with an experienced 3PL can ensure your small package shipping is handling with the utmost efficiency.
Don’t let logistics struggles give you the holiday blues. The Christmas season is a time that should be enjoyed. Contact us today, and we’ll help you prepare for the holiday rush, whether it’s small package shipping, LTL services, or one of the many other services we provide.