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Published on December 11th, 2012
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3 Things About Christmas and the Supply Chain

It’s that time of year again. Christmas. That time when you so desperately try to pretend it doesn’t exist because you haven’t even started your holiday shopping, while the overly cheery Christmas music that blares over the radio 24/7 keeps nagging you, planting whispers in the back of your mind that maybe, just maybe, you should get started on buying into the commercial frenzy real soon, otherwise you won’t be able to buy the love of those around you.

Now that we’ve gotten that piece of psychological work out of the way, here are 3 things that Christmas does to the supply chain.

3. Christmas Creates Jobs

Lets get this out of the way. Obviously, with more people making last minute purchases, whether it be because they forgot to buy a gift, or because they want to take advantage of sales for outdated merchandise, there will be more work for the people who ship these items to stores and end consumers. Instead of being able to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa and spend some time with their family, you’re creating more work for them, generating more income that will inevitably be earmarked for paying off their rising debts and costs of living.


“How I wish I could spend more time at the office,” she thought to herself.
(Getty)

2. Christmas affects you all year long.

Despite what you may think, most companies who deal with Christmas merchandise display more common sense than the vast majority of people who wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. They begin early, creating and shipping Christmas merchandise to warehouses and stores in the Spring, with April being a common high point. Just when you thought you were free of Christmas, and that it was safely confined to months ending in “-ember”, you now realize that Christmas is everywhere, and it will follow you and pester you with its incessant calls of consumerism until you empty your wallet and bank account.


“Dear God, please don’t let it see me.”
(Getty)

1. The Logjam effect

Space on shipping companies get tight as all the last minute shoppers try to buy everything at once. It is possible and entirely likely that shipments processed and made during this time will be slower, more expensive, and subject to delays. Multiple orders being placed at once means that more time will be needed to process each one of those orders. Having less space will result in remaining space being more expensive. And an error at any point in the process could result in entire shipments being delayed far past the time you will need them by. You can avoid these problems by making sure you get your shopping done early. But you likely won’t. Happy Holidays!


The cheering throngs praised Sandra for completing her shopping by the 21st, a new record.
(Getty)

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