shipping oversized packages during holiday season 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Shipping Oversized Packages This Holiday

Does your business ship oversized packages more than smaller ones?

Then you’re in for a surprise.

You will face more delays and damages this holiday season than the shippers who ship out small packages.

oversized package limit

Why just oversized?

I know you pay a premium just for a package exceeding standard package limits set by the carrier.

To add to this charge, the holidays bring forth further surcharges that are sure to make you cringe every time you take a look at your shipping invoice.

Why would you have to suffer even further will an added influx of delays and exceptions?

Because your package is comparatively difficult to handle.

Even if you do not pay for additional handling, the person who transports your package will have to physically handle it during transit and delivery.

This increases the chances of the package falling, tumbling or being torn under impact.

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Is it just during the holiday season?

Sadly, this is not a case that happens just during the holidays.

The difference lies in the fact that the increased volume of shipments handled by shipping carriers make oversized packages all the more prone to damages and delays during the holidays.

When there is quite limited space to ship out packages, carriers tend to use every bit of available space to send smaller packages in larger volumes. An oversized package will definitely take up an extra amount of space on any aircraft or truck. They could probably cram a dozen standard sized packages in the place of one.

If you take holiday season 2018, FedEx is expected to ship an average of 425 million packages while UPS will handle around 800 million. This is almost three times the usual volume the carriers handle during other months of the year.

shipment volume handled by fedex and ups during holidays

The volume surge is the reason an additional surcharge is billed to your invoice for oversized packages during the holidays. However, this does not guarantee you on time delivery or shipments delivered in mint condition even if you pay a premium.

Brace for impact

What can your business do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent this is to cushion the impact. Quite literally.

Considering the fact you shell out a surcharge amount of $650 for every oversized package (if you’re shipping with UPS), you need to invest in solid packaging supplies.

Use durable packaging materials that will withstand the impact even if your package is dropped from five feet (in any angle or direction).

We’re talking corrugated boxes, tightly packed with styrofoam or packaging peanuts so that there’s no moving space for the product.

Depending on the kind of items you ship, you can use different packaging materials. Stock up on the items you need well in advance, just in case there’s a sudden surge of orders and you run out.

To know more about packaging for heavy or odd sized objects, you can read here.

Divide and rule

If you’re shipping furniture, automobile parts or gym equipment, shipping out items in bulk will increase the chances of shipment damage and will also throw your shipping bill into the stratosphere.

What you can do is to divide up parts and ship them out separately. This will bring down the number of oversized packages, and also make it easy for handling.

No matter how securely your package is wrapped, the delivery person should be able to move it around with minimal effort.

Using multiple carriers to get your products to customers is another way to ensure less damage of shipments. This way, a single carrier would not be handling the bulk of your shipments over a specific period of time.

Split up as many parts as you can, and ship them out together. Also, insure the expensive oversized packages you ship, so that on the off chance of the product getting damaged you can claim insurance from the shipping carrier (packages are automatically insured for $100 with the surcharge you pay).

What more can your business do?

This holiday season, carriers are set to witness a 3x increase in volume.

This is going to be twice as risky for all the oversized packages out there.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Make a list of all the high risk areas in your shipping radius (The Predictive Holiday Shipping Report can help you with this).
  • After narrowing down these areas, figure out which carrier has the best track record in that specific area (especially when it comes to the coasts and the countryside).
  • Narrow it down to service types that perform better than the others, specifically for oversized packages (there will be a marked performance difference even between time definite services like UPS Next Day Air and UPS 2nd Day Air).
  • As a further precautionary measure, train your support team to be on call 24/7 to track and monitor all the oversized shipments heading that way. If you’d like to know more on how to equip your support team to handle the huge influx of customer calls and shipment monitoring, you can read our blog on the same.
  • With a predictive tool like LateShipment Pulse, you can predict delivery exceptions in advance and proactively take countermeasures before they affect your customers.

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With all this done, you can give your customers a smooth and hassle free last mile experience no matter the size of the package.

Hope this helps you handle the weight of shipping oversized packages this holiday season. Just remember, nothing is too heavy to those who have wings (or in this case, eyes on the package!).  

Joelah James

Joelah James

Writer. Wanderer. Impulsive artist. Always on the lookout for great coffee, books, and more coffee.

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