Black Friday & The Logistics Industry



Black Friday 2021 is predicted to become the busiest shopping day on record, with sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to new forecasts from Nationwide.


The annual shopping event indicates the start of peak season for those working in the logistics industry. Taking place on and around the Thanksgiving holiday, the US retail phenomenon quickly went global and now offers up a frenzy of both online and high street discounts across the globe.


It presents shoppers with the perfect opportunity to begin their Christmas spending binge early with the average participant spending £275 over the weekend. Spending this year is predicted to be up by nearly a third compared to the same day in 2019, with more than one in 10 (12%) claiming they will spend more on Christmas this year after the disruption of COVID-19.


Consequently, these two days of intense shopping can be the most challenging for logistics companies due to the unprecedented number of orders that need to be processed and delivered. With next and even same-day delivery options becoming commonplace, it seems there can never be enough logistical preparation leading up to the ambush of orders – be it extra vehicles, more warehouse space, or bringing in more staff to cover peak season.


Most large fulfilment centres are running a 24/7 shift pattern from November onwards, having spent time filling and recruiting throughout summer and autumn. Despite this, data from 2019 found that one in five online orders placed over the Black Friday weekend were not delivered on time.


So, what can be done to prevent the negative knock-on effects of Black Friday weekend?


Upskilling through learning is the best way to invest in your warehouse staff


To reduce the risk of errors throughout peak season, companies need to increase the size of their workforce to match the number of hands needed to manage the influx of orders. However, hiring staff can also put a strain on the supply chain as it is imperative that all new workers must be trained to do their job safely and efficiently, which takes a lot of planning and organization.


Apprenticeships offer a structured way to train your employees and unlock their potential to fill key skills gaps in your business. Rather than sending time outsourcing your workforce just to manage the festive season, you can instead boost employee motivation by investing in the development of your existing team members.


Upskilling allows you to prepare employees and teams to fill essential roles, so no area of your operation is left lagging behind. There are apprenticeships from level 2 to level 7 (equivalent to a degree) so you’ll be able to find an apprenticeship to suit the indi