Oct. 26 2015 11:33 AM

The peak season is just beginning to happen, and Santa is getting ready to deliver his magic. Every year, merchants from around the world execute strategies based on past challenges. Last year, we had the challenge of the new dimensional weight rules, which have impacted everyone this year and especially for the peak season. We also saw a big commitment from all of the major carriers to be staffed properly for the end of the shipping season.

At this point in the game, it is difficult to make any system changes that will have an impact on the current season. However, we can start planning for 2016 now. Here are some strategies to get through the holiday season:

  1. Optimize, Optimize & Optimize: Most large shippers utilize a multi-carrier shipping platform that allows them to get the best service for the best price. There are many shipping options in the market• try some new ones this year.

  2. Target 2 Day Service: Research indicates that most people want "fast but cheap" delivery service. These two words usually don't go together, but is what the consumer wants.

  3. USPS: Use the Priority Mail Service for your residential shipments under 10 pounds. The USPS has the most comprehensive residential delivery network in the US.

  4. Packaging: You need to take the air out of your packaging. This will hit your bottom line in a hard way this year if you do not fix this.

  5. Parcel Consolidators: There are many companies that focus on e-commerce shipping besides the major carriers. Take a look at DHL E-Commerce, Newgistics, APC, Globegistics, and IMEX.

  6. Send your Parcel Sales Reps a holiday card before they do. Invite them to lunch in November and get close to them.

  7. PARCEL Forum: Attend this conference because it offers innovative ideas to improve your parcel shipping program• not to mention the networking you can do in one place.

  8. PARCEL Magazine: read this each time it is published from cover to cover because it is filled with a plethora of knowledge.

The winner this year will make all of their deliveries by Friday, December 25th• with Santa making most deliveries on the evening of 24th. It is our mutual goal and aspiration to help Santa deliver on the magic of Christmas!

Michael J. Ryan is the Executive Vice President —Parcel Solutions at Pro Star Logistics and has over 25 years of experience in the parcel industry. He can be reached at 708.224.1498 or michael.ryan@prostar.com.