The holiday season is upon us. Most people are full of joyful anticipation, but in our business we are also very aware of the special concerns regarding international shipping. Here are three key points to keep in mind:
- Half of all retail business occurs at this time of year. This puts tremendous stress on the infrastructure we depend on. A straightforward shipment with reasonable rates in a different time of the year can become much more costly now. We must be much more judicious when choosing which shipments to export or import at this time of year. We also need to have a plan B when our usual carriers, truckers, or vendors become overwhelmed and might not be able to give us the timely service we are accustomed to receiving.
- Many businesses must close out their budgets for the year and are hyperaware of any “surprise” expenses. Due to the increased congestion in almost all areas, there is a much greater chance for storage charges and demurrage. We must not let our guard down when freight is available. When the clock for storage starts ticking, we must make sure the truckers know we are looking over their shoulder.
- Much of the world shuts down for the holiday. As I write this, even China is preparing for the holiday season. They just celebrated their cyber holiday (Single’s Day) in which more business was done online than was done anywhere else in the world. Timing of your international shipments is critical. Some overseas businesses close for weeks. Make sure to confirm with your clients of their scheduled closings so you can plan your shipments accordingly.
With these helpful tips, you should be better prepared for the coming holidays. I hope your holidays are joyful and fruitful.
Article written by Howard Fox from Jade International