Black Friday was introduced to the UK back in 2010 by online retail giant, Amazon. It is without a doubt, one of the busiest times of year for retailers and delivery drivers. Consumer expectations of next day delivery in combination with the sheer amount of goods ordered during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can leave logistics services under considerable strain. According to a study by finder, the number of Britons planning to spend in the sales this year has dropped to 33%, a predicted spend of £4.8 billion means 2021 is still going to be a busy one!
UK’s Black Friday habits differ slightly to the manic footage often seen coming from America’s jam-packed stores with customers regularly seen turning an ordinary sale into a contact sport. As Black Friday has evolved since arriving in the UK, so has it’s supporting supply chain. Supply chain planning, warehouse management and optimised distribution networks have made it possible to keep shelves stocked in store over the years, but what about home deliveries?
In the UK the majority of sales made over the weekend are done so online. This year 44% of Brits plan to shop online, 41% will shop both online and in-store and only 15% plan to shop solely in-store, putting the weight of the work on e-commerce and delivery drivers. This period creates five times the normal daily volume of work for delivery drivers and a need for an extra 210,000 van trips, so it’s easy to appreciate why this soon can become a logistical challenge, as stated by Drivers Direct.
The increase in demand leaves 27% of businesses worrying that they will not have adequate stock, with 25% concerned that they will not have the capacity to service these deliveries. Aside from this, 21% also fear they don’t have enough team members to handle the increased demand.
The recent dilemma of 100,000 driver shortages in the UK is putting an extra strain on the industry this year with whispers of Christmas shortages. But all is not lost for the logistics industry.
Prime Prep Time
The key to avoiding a logistics nightmare this year is solid planning ahead of time. Consider some of the following methods to keep your operations moving smoothly.
Cross docking can be a valuable process to have in place but is a vital consideration to have for the holiday season. High volume cross dock operations allow for fast routing of goods whilst keeping inventory carrying costs low.
Third Party Logistics
Now is the ideal time to utilise those 3PL’s you’ve been considering. Value-added services often offered by 3PL’s mean they provide much needed support during these busy times and take pressure off your in-house operations.
Expanded Sale Dates
Running your discounts over a longer period of time can spread the pressure out a little, meaning the daily increase in workload is often much lower.
This is a stressful time for all businesses but it’s important to remember that your staff are feeling the strain too. You might have a mixture of permanent, as well as holiday period staff and they are your greatest asset in keeping everything flowing, so ensure they are happy in the workplace.
Needing some extra support during this busy period of the year? Wanting a logistics provider that you can trust? Well, Aramex is here to help. We pivot and adapt and our 360-degree solution can help you achieve the supply chain that is so vital on occasions like Black Friday.
If you would be interested in gaining a logistics partner proven to achieve, get in touch with our team today.