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Peak Season 2014 Set to Stretch Shipping Records

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As the calendar flips through to November shippers are inevitably in full swing. We're all coordinating the arrival of a constant flow of goods into the country for peak season 2104, ready to satisfy that notoriously hungry seasonal demand.

While it's not unusual to predict record-breaking years, this peak season seems set to be a doozy. Not only are major carriers like UPS expecting a bumper burst of action across a number of individual days, they also have the failures of 2013 fresh in the memory. In the final weeks of the year, insufficient resources and adverse weather conditions combined to prevent the smooth delivery required by a burst of late shopping.

Carriers have no desire to see a repeat of the backlog that occurred then at this most sensitive time of year.

Preparing for Peak Season 2014

More advance predictions of an expected surge for the 2014 holidays will set the stage for the logistics industry's equivalent of "Ground & Pound" (though hopefully with much closer coordination than this year's Jets defense!)

As the article says, UPS thinks it could see up to 34 million packages delivered on its single busiest day this December. This would top the heaviest day of 2013 by some 3 million packages, fueled by the continued growth of ecommerce and the opportunity that retailers see to drive early sales by offering special deals earlier online. Traditionally Cyber Monday, which follows Thanksgiving weekend and the expected physical retail therapy of Black Friday, has been the focus of online sales pushes.

But more and more in recent years retailers have tried to convince customer to make their move earlier, with web specials on Thanksgiving itself and even pre-holiday deals to whet the appetite.

Combined with  a resurgent economy and more confident consumers we'd have to say that the record-breaking predictions for peak season 2014 will prove well-founded this year. Retailers with robust supply chains and intelligent advance planning will see the fruits of their labors even more than most years, as products flow more smoothly through the distribution process and out to end customers in good time for the holiday season.

And if you're on the other side of this process, ready and waiting to join the holiday throngs for hourly online deals and the more classic "doorbuster" specials (bring your pads!), you could do worse than to check out USA Today's 10 big Black Friday predictions.

We wish you safe holiday shopping and a successful peak season 2014, if you're on our side of the fence!