Festive Fleet Availability – Plan for Christmas now with Telematics Software
We all get a bit sick of seeing Christmas cards and decorations in the shops on the High Street well in advance of the big day. It often feels as if summer’s barely over when the shelves start getting stocked with all the festive goodies and it feels as if Christmas is getting rammed down our throats much too early. However, for the shrewd fleet operator/manager, early planning is essential if you want to make sure that you’re on the ball with delivery operations in the run up to Christmas. Forward planning is the only way to make sure that you have adequate capacity to handle the busiest time of the year.
Last year a proliferation of one day Christmas shopping events (such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday) led to a spate of delivery problems and this is set to happen again this coming Christmas if delivery services are not ready for it. Internet shopping has caught on in a big way, especially in the busiest household where both partners have full time jobs. For some people, ordering online is just about the only option for buying Christmas presents and everything that’s ordered online has to be delivered. This is great news for delivery companies, but keeping on top of demand is likely to challenging in the run up to the festive period.
The Christmas shopping period is defined as 2 November to 27 December and UK consumers are predicted to spend a massive £20 billion on gifts and bargains during this time. There’s also been a sharp increase in the “click and collect” shopping option which puts an added strain on fleet managers and the delivery network as specific products need to be transported to specific stores to ensure availability.
Delivery fleet managers may need to take on extra vehicles over the Christmas delivery period to ensure that they can cope with the increase in demand. Not being prepared for the increase in online spending, overburdened resources and short delivery timescales associated with the Christmas shopping period could result in you not having enough vehicles to cope with the extra delivery loads. There’s currently a shortage of vans in the rental sector so you’ll need to act now if you think extra vehicles will be necessary to stay ahead of the game.
You’ll also need to make sure your logistics software is robust enough to cope with the extra demand. Making sure that you have a fully integrated telematics solution is vital to ensure that both retailers and consumers receive the service they deserve. Using technology to keep track of delivery vehicle location and provide consumers with real time information on the whereabouts of their parcels is an essential part of delivering an excellent service. Many of us nowadays track our deliveries online and our busy lives mean that we need to have the most accurate information on delivery times possible.
Christmas deliveries can represent a great opportunity for delivery fleet companies to impress both retail business owners and consumers and this is a great time to build trust and brand awareness that will benefit your business in the future.