Why Christmas in July Exists and Why Freight Pros Should Take Notice
While the origins of Christmas in July are of a more recent vintage than the winter holiday for which it's named, some form of it has existed for several decades. And when Christmas in July comes around, it's a good reminder for freight pros that the real thing is fast approaching - meaning shipping and logistics operations need to be in order. According to most sources, Christmas in July exists due to a spirited summer camp in the south in the first half of the 20th Century. Legend has it that a group of campers in North Carolina decided to dedicate two days in 1933 to a mid-summer Christmas celebration complete with decorations, presents, fake snow and more. This first Christmas in July was followed seven years later by a Hollywood film of the same name, and as years went on the idea gained a foothold in the U.S. as retailers and others saw a marketing opportunity. It's also gone international, with the Southern Hemisphere country of Australia using it as a chance to celebrate Christmas in its traditional cold, wintry conditions. As for freight pros, while many shippers have to stock retailers with Christmas in July merch, the real key to this time of year is as a mile-marker of sorts for getting holiday season products into the channel in time.
Why should companies care about Christmas in July?
Companies should care about Christmas in July for two key reasons. The first being there may be some profits to be made from Christmas in July-themed (or just any kind of) sales. The second is as a touchstone to ensure shipping and logistics operations for the actual holiday season are firing on all cylinders. While Christmas in July is five months from actual Christmas Day, holiday shopping has lately started as early as October, and with especially high-pressure, complicated holiday shipping seasons the last couple of years, it's especially important to get a head start. So here are three things shippers need to think about when Christmas in July comes around:
- Inventory needs - Which products will be most important for your company this holiday season? And how will you ensure they remain in stock?
- Capacity needs - Do you have enough capacity lined up with freight carriers? And do you have enough warehouse capacity to stage key products (and handle returns)?
- Backup plans - Whether the answers to the above questions are yes or no, it's important to have some backup plans ready, be they alternate freight modes, like intermodal, to address capacity issues or alternate procedures like transloading to guard against issues like container shortages.
If shippers haven't thought about - and already started addressing - these three things by the Christmas in July period, they'll find themselves behind the eight ball as peak freight season ramps up. But that doesn't mean it's too late. Whether you're well on your way or just getting going, let us know where your holiday shipping and logistics operation stands, and we'll work with you to provide whatever solutions your company needs. You can also visit our Learning Center for more on freight and logistics - and us. Or start with one of the links below:
- Domestic Freight Services: Intermodal, Truckload, LTL
- Outsourced Managed Transportation Service Solutions