We have finally made it to the end of the year and it has been 12 months like no other. As a retailer or wholesaler, you’re probably wiping your brow after dealing with a surge in demand and orders due to the COVID lockdowns. At EFS, we know we definitely are!
As reported by The Australian, Australia had about 1 million fewer workers over the past 18 months thanks to reduced immigration from closed international borders and people leaving work for other reasons. The transport, logistics and freight industries have certainly been affected by this shortage.
Because we are a service that supports the Australian freight industry, we won’t be taking a great deal of time off over the Christmas period ourselves. This is so we can help our clients and the freight providers we have relationships with to work their way through the huge backlog of parcels and packages that have built up due to worker shortages and a surge in home delivery requests.
And once the Christmas period is over, there will be more work to come.
Freight in Australia: What to be aware of in the New Year
Australians have spent millions of dollars ordering gifts online for friends and family over the last few weeks.
As soon as those goods are delivered, the next step for many people is returning them! This means the pressure on Australia’s freight industry will still be strong after Christmas. It’s especially the case because postal and delivery workers will take time off over the break.
Until more overseas students and visa holders arrive and find jobs (with borders slowly opening this should be the case as 2022 gets underway), longer delivery timelines can be expected.
If you’re a retailer, hopefully you have a clear and straightforward process for returns. Including information on your website and paperwork for returns in your parcels will minimise the confusion and diminish the risk of packages getting lost.
Easing the pressure on a strained system
Consumers are growing tired of waiting for parcels but there are always options to get things where they need to go.
For example, if possible you can add a click and collect service so that people who live in your area can act as their own delivery drivers and pick up their goods in person.
Another option is to tier your delivery options. Lower cost services are overloaded right now so make it clear as part of your checkout process that free or cheap shipping comes with an extended wait.
Those who are in urgent need of fast delivery can opt for a more expensive service, which will get their parcel to them sooner. The premium price is a necessity at the moment to restore the balance of supply and demand. Having this option also gives you the flexibility to work with additional freight providers you may not have reached out to in the past.
Bring on 2022!
We know we all said this last year but hopefully the worst of the lockdowns and border closures will be behind us by the time 2022 is well underway.
It will take some time for global supply chains to be smoothed out but we are optimistic about positive progress. In the meantime, clear communication across all stakeholders is key to managing expectations. Need last-minute freight options in Australia? Contact the experts at EFS.