Retailers prepare for a better holiday shipping season in 2014

Shipping companies are busy preparing for the holiday rush.

Shipping companies are busy preparing for the holiday rush.

Last year's holiday shipping delays proved problematic for both consumers and businesses, so this year retailers are working extra hard to streamline their shipping services and guarantee accurate delivery.

The most frustrating thing for a customer to experience is receiving a package late or damaged, so it's extremely important that companies pay extra attention to their logistics strategy as December approaches. 

According to Forrester Research, Americans are projected to buy a record number of gifts this year -- $89 billion worth, to be precise, which constitutes a 13 percent increase year-over-year.

Since retailers now know that this holiday season is likely to produce record online and brick-and-mortar sales, they are even more intent on preparing themselves for the delivery rush that will inevitably occur before Christmas.

UPS is estimating that it will send 585 million packages in the month of December, which is 11 percent more than last year.

"We started talking to our customers much earlier this year, and we were planning together with them for their volume forecasting," said UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg. 

Shipping companies are also hiring more seasonal employees than they usually do to handle the influx in packages, and retailers are taking steps to prevent shipping delays. For instance, Target has begun encouraging customers who order items online to pick merchandise up in the store, and in-store pickup now constitutes 15 percent of its online orders.

Companies are encouraging customers to complete their online holiday orders sooner this year to ensure prompt and accurate delivery. 

The holiday season is a crucial time for retailers everywhere, so don't let your company fall behind with its logistics operations. Hire a third-party shipping company that you trust to fulfill your orders in a cost-effective and responsible manner.