The busiest shopping days of the year are fast approaching, and it begs the question, how do distribution centres cope with seasonal demand? Holidays such as Black Friday and Christmas, bring a surge in online shopping, with millions of orders needing to be processed, picked, packed and delivered in as little as 24 hours.

Here, we’ll look at how seasonal shopping trends impact UK distribution companies.

Meeting the increase in demand

One of the biggest impacts seasonal trends have on distribution companies is an increase in demand. During key holidays, shoppers flock to the internet to place time-limited orders and distribution companies are expected to deliver in a timely manner. This often means they need to take on seasonal staff to account for the additional pressure.

Of course, it also means companies need to ensure they have adequate levels of stock.

Latest technologies prove invaluable

While extra staff can help to ease the epic workload seasonal trends place on distribution centres, technology also proves invaluable. Clever UK distribution centres take advantage of automated software. This helps to simplify and speed up several processes, including picking, packing and labelling parcels ready for delivery.

One of the most common shipping errors businesses can make is labelling the parcels wrong. This can lead to a lot of customer complaints and delayed shipping – something that could prove extremely damaging to distribution companies during high seasonal demand. Automated software however, is much more reliable and less likely to produce errors, ensuring parcels are sent out with correct shipping information.

They also utilise software which keeps track of stock levels, automatically ordering more when levels are low.

The need to prepare for adverse weather conditions

Another challenge business’ need to consider during seasonal shopping trends, is the weather. In Winter, unpredictable weather can cause havoc during major shopping holidays. While it is difficult to prepare for wintry conditions, it certainly isn’t impossible. Distribution companies need to plan ahead and ensure they’re opting to use the services of a reliable parcel delivery service.

Many couriers prepare for adverse weather conditions by investing in weather-proof vehicles. This means, vehicles which are well-quipped at driving in all weathers. From expert technology to snow tyres, leading couriers do their best to ensure they can deliver no matter what the weather.

Overall, seasonal shopping trends do have a large impact on UK distribution centres. However, the majority know the key dates that are likely to be overly busy. Therefore, they plan ahead and ensure they have adequate levels of stock, additional staff and the right software in place to ensure their seasonal operations run seamlessly.