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Retail Industry Updates Supply Chain Industry Updates

Are Brands Ready to Deliver this Holiday Season?


It’s as if Santa’s elves had started to have doubts about the reindeers.

A survey found 72% of consumer goods and retail shippers weren’t confident that their supply chains were ready for the critical holiday season. Transfix announced yesterday that it found two out of three shippers said they’re “not fully confident in their carriers today.” They also complained that up to 30% of their company’s time is “wasted each week finding backup carriers due to tender rejections or missed pickups.”

But you can’t lay all the blame on the reindeers — sorry, carriers — because 2020 has turned everything topsy-turvy. For example, even though more than 90% of supply chain professionals said this had been the toughtest year of their careers, about 75% of the consumers Transfix also spoke with said they still expected brands to offer the same delivery timelines as they did prior to the pandemic. And not only that, but 55% of consumers said they plan to shop earlier this year and 87% expect to do more of holiday shopping online than in holiday seasons of yore. 

“COVID has made for one of the most challenging years in supply chain history, but consumer expectations are still at an all-time high as we head into the most critical season for brands and retailers,” Transfix Chief Operating Officer Ahmad El-Dardiry said in a statement. “With high stakes and a less predictable market, shipper success will ultimately rely on access to technology, insights and a trusted network of transportation providers to deliver on customer promises.”

Complicating matters, 72% of shippers admitted that their ability to make rapid and informed inventory and transportation decisions was hamstrung by their lack of visibility into key performance metrics. “Now more than ever, supply chain agility can be a competitive advantage for brands, but for those who don’t quickly find ways to navigate market volatility, their business could be on the line,” El-Dardiry said.

Mirroring recent Deloitte research, Transfix’s survey found many consumers intended to spend less on holiday travel this season. Instead, they plan to spend more on goods for at-home celebrations, including on food and beverages (81 percent), paper goods (86 percent) and beer, wine and spirits (72 percent).

To read the Transfix report, “The Great Holiday Rewrite: Supply Chain In the COVID Era,” visit here.