With massive volumes of deliveries expected across the country this Christmas, most carriers including Australia Post have already announced cut-off dates for holiday deliveries and they are much earlier than people might expect.

Ecommerce and shipping company, Pitney Bowes, has revealed ways that businesses can ensure that they are not caught out during this peak shipping time.

“Carriers have essentially been operating at typical Christmas levels since the COVID-19 restrictions started earlier this year and it’s likely that it will get worse, not better, for deliveries coming into Christmas,” Pitney Bowes head of shipping for Australia and New Zealand, Ben Seal said.

The latest Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index found that Australians shipped 934 million parcels in 2019, an increase of 8% year-on-year with an average of 37 parcels shipped per person.

“Engaging multiple carriers for deliveries will be critical for businesses this Christmas, as they work to fulfill customer orders and manage their expectations. Working with more than just one carrier will help minimise challenges in delivering to some destinations and ensure the best opportunity for parcels to arrive as close to on-time as possible without depending on one carrier,” Seal said.  

Online retailers should ensure they have full visibility of inventory and know where new stock is coming from. While the pandemic seems under control in Australia, much of the rest of the world is still on high alert and the global supply chain is under pressure, so if organisations rely on products from overseas, it may not be easy to restock.

“Being open and transparent will improve the customer experience as well as reporting on stock availability. Customers may be accepting of pandemic-related delays in the current environment, though they might be less accepting if shipping delays are downplayed or companies over-promise and under-deliver on delivery time. Being upfront about any delivery challenges will help to ensure a great customer experience and brand loyalty beyond the Christmas season,” Seal added.