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Failure an online option when ordering late


Didn’t get your Christmas gifts delivered on time? Don’t blame the major carriers this year, according to a new study from Kurt Salmon.

UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service held up their end of the bargain this year when it came to delivering packages in time for Christmas, according to an analysis by the consulting firm. However, a troubling 13 percent of last minute e-commerce orders did not reach recipients in time for Christmas versus a 15 percent failure rate last year.

Kurt Salmon analyzed 100 e-commerce orders placed with retailers just ahead of their deadline for delivery by Christmas and determined the failure rate was caused by a variety of factors. For example, in 33 percent of the instances the items was not guaranteed or an incorrect shipping method was chosen. Another 33 percent of the time the delay was caused because the retailer lacked capacity with a carrier that caused the shipment to be missed. Inventory issues accounted for 25 percent of the delays and poor communication accounted for eight percent.

Kurt Salmon said major carriers such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service were not to blame for any of the delivery failures in the analysis it conducted this year. Conversely, last year the blame for late orders was more evenly split between retailers (56%) and carriers (44%), although widespread reports at the time heaped blame on carriers for some highly publicized late deliveries.

To avoid that situation this year, sought to expand fulfillment capacity to cope with the seasonal surged. More importantly, they worked more closely with retailers on forecasting e-commerce demand and then reaching capacity agreements. As a result, retailers who experienced an unplanned surge in last minute demand may have loaded the goods onto a trailer that didn’t get picked up in time by a carrier because an agreed upon capacity limited had been met or exceeded.

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