The Holiday season is one of the toughest there is for Amazon Delivery Service Partners and their employees. It is the busiest but also one of the most profitable times of the year. And whether you already own an Amazon Delivery Service Partners business or are considering purchasing one, it’s good to go into the holidays with realistic expectations and some tips and tricks.
Here are some last-minute holiday tips for Amazon Delivery Service Partners.
Prepare for Long Hours
First, there will be extended hours ahead for the remainder of the holiday season. Online ordering will soon reach its peak, but all of those orders still need to be delivered, and many will arrive in the final couple of weeks before Christmas.
This means some longer hours and longer days. Your stop counts will increase, and routes will be more packed than ever.
- Take along lunches and snacks so you can make the most of break times.
- Drink water and electrolytes. You’ll need the fuel to get through the day. Avoid sugary snacks and energy drinks.
- Plan for restroom breaks and lunch stops
- Keep warm winter clothing with you, and dress in layers to prepare for temperature changes throughout the day.
- Prepare your family for you being gone for longer periods than usual. Make childcare and other arrangements ahead of time.
- Take vitamins and supplements to boost your immune system. The holidays are no time to get sick and be unable to work.
Being ready for long hours will make facing those days at least a little easier. Prepare your staff as well, and help them out whenever possible.
Hire Helpers and Runners
One of the best ways to help your drivers keep up and do more stops is to hire helpers and runners. These employees simply help run packages to the door, set up stops, and prepare the next bag of packages. This can not only help speed up the process at each stop but can take some of the physical stress off your drivers as well. It’s a win-win for everyone, and the additional cost will be well worth it.
An efficient way to do this is to share helpers with another contractor when possible. You probably both don’t need the helper all the time, and this gives rotating relief to more than one driver, keeps the helper employed with more hours, and saves both contractors money because they don’t have to carry the entire burden of the cost.
Late in the season, you’ll have to work with Amazon to get hires approved quickly, so hiring those who are already approved helpers or drivers will likely be your best bet.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Unfortunately for delivery drivers and businesses, the peak season happens when the winter weather can be at its worst. It’s essential that you keep an eye on the weather and ensure that your drivers and your fleet are prepared. This is also an excellent time to hire helpers to assist with running packages, as mentioned above.
This also impacts how long your delivery days might be. The weather can result in significant delays, depending on the location of your route and how rural some of your stops might be. On those intense weather days, you need to schedule extra time, provide additional help and support, and ensure that equipment like chains, emergency flares, and more are on board your trucks and readily available.
Such items can include:
- Rock salt, kitty litter, or both
- Warm gloves and hand warmers
- A shovel, even a folding one
- Tire chains
- A tow strap
- Jumper cables
- Emergency triangles and flares
While these should be a part of your vehicle kits anyway, now is the time to double-check and ensure all items are in good working condition and readily available.
Help Out and Ask for Help
Amazon Delivery Service partners are a team, and at no time is that more evident than during the holidays. This means everyone works together to ensure deliveries happen promptly. Since there is a shared vision and overall goal, working together is a part of putting the customer first.
However, there are additional physical and financial benefits. From employee sharing to truck sharing and rental to maintaining spares and saving time and fuel, there are many reasons for contractors to work together. When another contractor needs assistance, if you help them with no expectations, they will also likely help you when you need it.
And if you need help, there is no harm in asking others. This improves your customer service and your relationship with your own regular employees and helps build camaraderie among the Amazon Delivery Service Partners in your area.
This sense of teamwork creates a great culture that makes working for Amazon a pleasure.
Celebrate the Holidays
Once you get to Christmas Eve and the holidays, take the time to spend with your family and friends. This is a well-earned reward. Owning and operating a route during peak is a big deal, and making it through is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
This is not to say that it will not be busy immediately after the Holliday and throughout the New Year, but volumes are generally lower, and owners and drivers feel less pressure and a lower sense of overwhelm.
Either way, this is a time to breathe and relax as much as possible. While there is still work ahead, you have made it through the most challenging parts of the peak season. Also, take the time to celebrate your employees and those who have supported you through this season. You can even plan a post-peak celebration if you like, but most often, those work better in January, when things truly wind down and everyone has more time.
Once the celebration is over, though, there are a few final tips for you to pay attention to.
Prep for Returns
After peak, there will be another spike in volume that will be a little different than peak itself. You will have a large number of returns to take back to your business clients (where you usually pick up), and you will have more pick-ups, especially at Amazon return centers like Kohl’s (if you have these as part of your routes)
The important thing is to remember to be patient and prepared for this spike in volume. Some customers, especially small businesses, may be discouraged by the number of returns and refunds they have to give. Let them vent, and shrug off any frustration you feel. This is the final phase of peak, and while not always pleasant for those who are making or receiving returns, it is just as vital to your profits and customer service.
Remember, a large part of successful peak seasons is to be prepared. The end is now in sight, and you are almost ready to relax.
Take Time to Rest and Consider Next Steps
Once the peak delivery season is over, at least for this year, it is a good time to do two things: get some much-needed rest and consider your next steps with your Amazon Delivery Service Partners business.
For some, this is a time to grow and expand your business based on the success you had during peak. For others, it might be time to consider selling your business and moving on to another industry or even another area. For those new to the logistics business, this can be a great time to purchase an Amazon Delivery Service Partners business and get started in the exciting world of last-mile delivery.
No matter what your situation or the choices you are making, we here at Route Advisors want to be there for you. Whether that is listing your route for sale, helping you purchase a new route, or expanding your business, we want to be your route broker.
We can help with Amazon Delivery Service Partners businesses in a variety of ways. We can even advise you on FedEx Delivery route options and other ways to expand your business. Contact us today or when you are ready after peak season, and we’ll be with you through every step of your business experience. Whether you are buying or selling, we know the best path for you.
Happy Holidays and Happy Peak Season to you and yours.