Optimizing Delivery Routes for Holiday Season Success

  • 18 June 2024
  • 6 Min Read

With the holiday season around the block, it is the preparedness of the retail industry to manage the peak shopping season, that decides if a business is a failure or a success. Strategic route mapping for holidays separates a business from the competition.

As per the National Retail Federation, holiday sales for 2023 will grow between 3% to 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. Their release also stated online shopping has been one of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior from the COVID-19 pandemic. And, along with other non-store sales, it is expected to increase between 7% and 9% to a total of between $273.7 billion and $278.8 billion. A figure up from $255.8 billion last year!

An eCommerce business has unlimited scope if it has been able to influence the target customers, who look for the following three features—

  • No delayed deliveries.
  • Want regular updates on delivery status.
  • Look for sustainability in a retailer.

To achieve these especially during peak holiday time, festive season route planning becomes a mandate. A scheduled and informed supply chain mechanism optimizes delivery options, brings down cost, avoids delays, and makes delivery sustainable as management has sufficient information to club deliveries, or find sustainable routes for efficient last-mile delivery for holidays.

Importance of Effective Route Scheduling for Peak Season

The festivity continues around the year, if a business has missed to board and plan ahead for this holiday season, then start evaluating options for the next and boot up holiday shipping logistics. Let’s dive a little deeper to explore the reasons for logistics optimization for holidays and why eCommerce businesses need to focus on efficient route planning and last-mile delivery optimization for success.

  • Surge in Order: During the peak festive season starting from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday to Christmas, then resuming during Easter, online retailing experiences a significant surge in orders. Along with efficient warehouse management, it requires optimized route planning for on-time delivery.
  • Tight Deadlines: Customers enjoy online shopping as they are spoilt for choices with myriad options. To beat the competition, retailers try to deliver at the convenience of the customers, with one-day or two-day or sometimes same-day delivery options. To meet such high expectations route efficiency for seasonal demand becomes a necessity.
  • Shortage of staff: There can be a shortage of staff due to the holiday season, an adequate number of drivers may not be available or there can be a shortage for picking and packing of items. Contingency planning helps in meeting order deadlines.
  • Loss of Orders or Missed Deliveries: When demand is high, chances of loss of orders or missing deliveries become quite frequent, which leads to frustrated customers. To keep an account of orders and deliveries, the use of technology could be a smart move. It can assist with on-time delivery, augmented reality can guarantee correct order is picked and packed even during peak season and identify routes for the fast delivery of items.
  • Sustainability: Customers love shopping but at the same time, they also want to be environment friendly and stay concerned about carbon footprint. With peak season route optimization, retailers can connect with 3PLs for sustainable shipping and third-mile logistics. Studies show approximately 44% of consumers opt for brands with sustainability.

Benefits of Optimal Route Planning for Festive Season

With the continuous evolution of the eCommerce landscape, logistics need pre-planning and identification of routes with real-time tracking for swift, hassle-free, and cost-effective delivery to consumers. Efficient holiday delivery routes and strategies ensure timely deliveries even during peak demand periods. Some of the benefits of optimal route planning for festive season could be:-

  • Real-time Information: Automated shipping and logistics provide with real-time data on the condition of the road, weather, availability of drivers, traffic, and alternate routes. Mostly, during Christmas time the weather is quite unpredictable disrupting the flow of traffic and leading to delays. When real-time data is available, it is convenient to manage disruptions and ensure efficient delivery of orders.
  • Efficient Last-mile Delivery for Holidays: By leveraging technology retailers or 3PLs can track orders and collaborate with logistics partners for efficient delivery even during peak holiday seasons.
  • Cost-effective & Sustainable: Pre-planning of holiday shipping logistics includes expansion of the fleet, partnering with local logistics and shipping companies and warehouses for route optimization and quick delivery of orders. Planning leads to efficient utilization of resources and makes it cost-effective by increasing fuel efficiency and sustainability as both operational costs and fuel consumption are reduced.
  • Optimized Rerouting: Real-time tracking and visibility help with dynamic rerouting while the cargo is en route. This real-time navigation facilitates ease of managing last-mile delivery during bad weather conditions or sudden disruptions on the way.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Optimized delivery routes during the festive season improve customer relationships as there are no delays in deliveries, quality is ensured through AI intervention, and no incorrect order delivery as manual intervention is reduced so managing high demand becomes easy, even response time to queries is shorter.

Route Efficiency for Seasonal Demand with Advatix Cloudsuite™

Advatix Cloudsuite™ is a cloud-based solution provider, that integrates all the supply chain management operations on a single platform for easy access to information in real-time.

Take a plunge this festive season with Advatix Cloudsuite™ real-time tracking solution for optimizing delivery routes and enhancing customer satisfaction!