Posted on August 19, 2020 by Michael Boik

DTC Holiday Packaging—Don’t Wait to Buy

DTC holiday packaging is always on our mind. It’s an often visited topic among our blogs—for good reason—as every year it is important that we try to encourage our customers to beat the holiday rush and order packaging well in advance of the end of the year. But it has never been more important to emphasize than in 2020, a year riddled with delays and uncertainty in nearly every industry due to an ongoing pandemic and other factors. For the reasons below and many others—don’t delay! The holiday season is fast approaching . . .

Many have already started

We’ve already seen many customers begin to order DTC holiday packaging to close out their year. The lines are starting to form—sort of speak—as a number of our customers are placing orders for packaging to last them through the end of 2020.

Freight Delays/Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a often used word these days. Especially when it comes to freight and transit times. In the last few weeks and months, we’ve seen standard freight times jump from 1-3 to about 2-5 transit days, and in some cases even longer, with unexpected delays along the way. Many carriers are struggling to find drivers, and we’re seeing the effects. A couple of days delay in transit time may not be too much of a burden to you in August or September, and maybe even October. But those same delays in November or December may be costly to your target dates and fulfilling seasonal orders.

Typical Seasonal Extended Lead Times

We’ve been very fortunate to say that many of our manufacturing plants have operated close to normal capacity and hours during these last few months. Lead times have not been greatly impacted from a manufacturing standpoint. However, every year as we approach the holidays we do typically see longer lead times, especially with certain custom products such as our unpadded paper mailers. This is common in normal years, but we all know 2020 is anything but normal, and there really is no way of knowing what lead times will look like as we hit the holiday rush.

Heightened Ecommerce Traffic

It’s a safe bet that as people practice keeping their distance from others, they too will be spending less hours in malls and typical retail outlets, even during the holidays. This will almost certainly lead to (and already has) an increased demand for DTC packaging, as businesses look to accommodate their online shoppers. It’s not a stretch to say that this holiday season may see more online ecommerce buying than any other in history.

Consumer Funnel Effect

We saw a number of businesses pressing the pause button in March, April and May due to Covid-19 temporarily halting their plans. This was common among both startups and well-established companies. But these businesses started suddenly ramping up big time in June, July and August, with an urgency to make up for lost time. This spike in production has created a funnel effect where a very high demand that we would typically see spread out over months, is coming all at once. This is not likely to change, and if history is any indication, will probably only continue on through the holiday season.

Bulk Buying can lead to savings

Consider the other benefits aside from avoiding delays and the potential of running into situations where you may not get your packaging in time for your deadlines. Buying packaging in bulk leads to savings, in addition to ensuring you are well covered with inventory throughout the holiday season. Ordering in higher volumes will almost always lower your per unit cost. A 2,000 box order typically lowers your price per unit by about 15-30% compared to 1,000. And you will see savings in freight costs as well (when compared per unit). Shipping 2 pallets at once is always cheaper than spread out across two shipments to the same location.

Please Contact Us Today

Want to know more about DTC holiday packaging? We are eager to meet the challenges of 2020 with you. We’re happy to help you find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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