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Holiday promotion planning is in full swing right now.  Of course, calculating the number of days to fulfill and ship the product is crucial.  Here are five FAQs about warehousing and kitting we get this time of year:
How many days does it take to get the package from the loading dock to its destination?
Carriers move substantially more packages during the holidays (UPS alone will ship 750 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Years Day).  Due to the sheer increase in volume and severe weather conditions, there were some fairly significant delivery delays in 2017.   Major shippers launched new systems and solutions this year but they have not yet been tested.

#1:   Add a 2-3 day pad when planning turn time for in-hand delivery date

How can I get my products entered into the inventory system as quickly as possible?
Your products will handled at as many as four warehouses from start-to-finish of the fulfillment process.  In general, the cartons and pallets that get received in first are those that are readily identifiable, stand out, and have all info needed for disposition.  To stay out of the research zone, consider neon labels, identify the full carton count, barcode the product (if possible), and provide an ASN.
#2:   Make your cartons stand out and provide explicit handling instructions
What will materials cost?
In most cases, your shipments will be need to re-packed into something else. Can we re-use the in-bound cartons or do we have to purchase? What are the dimensions and weight of the product to determine least cost packaging? Can I get "free" shipping envelopes and materials from the carrier itself?   How do I protect fragile products?

#3:   Look at materials rates at or any large office supply supplier
(We get substantially lower wholesale rates, but it will give you an idea)
Will there be returns?
Databases that are 100% accurate are very rare.  To avoid undeliverable shipments, first evaluate the mailing list. Where did the list come from? How old is it? Are multiple people providing lists that must be de-duped? Did consumers (notorious for bad data) input their own information?  Even with careful vetting, returns processing should be considered at program bid stages.

#4:   Expect a 5%-7% return rate on consumer shipments.
What other ways can I shave time and cost from the project?
Kelly Direct has holiday fulfillment projects for over 27 years on behalf of America's Fortune 500 brands and leading agencies.   We scope the project, select the appropriate warehouse partner, negotiates wholesale rates and manages the program from start-to-finish.  Exceptional rates and exceptional customer service.
#5:   Call Kelly Direct at 818.262.0613 or click here


July 2018 


In response to China's retaliatory tariffs, U.S. Trade Representatives proposed a modification of the U.S.'s initial tariff list, adding an additional 10% duty on products from China. The annual trade value is estimated at approximately $200 billion. The list is extremely lengthy but includes a fair amount of products that impact the promotional products space.   Products include: hats and headwear, embroidery; paper dishes and cups; sacks and bags and LEDs.   The first wave of taxation began July 7 and proposed surcharges will undergo a two month review process closing at the end of August.



The latest rounds of retaliatory tariffs from Canada have been published and includes several items with direct ties to the promotional industry.   The total value of the goods is roughly $12.8 billion U.S. dollars. A 10% countermeasure (surcharge) will be applied to the following items:  Ballpoint pens, postcards, plastic sacks and bags, tableware, assorted paper goods and others.



Teamster negotiators say they have reached a handshake deal on a new 5-year contract with UPS that would raise pay for existing workers but also create a new category of lower-paid drivers to handle weekend deliveries. The two sides have been in talks for months in one of the biggest collective bargaining agreements in the US. The hybrid-driver role would allow UPS, which now delivers on Saturdays in some markets, to start regular Sunday delivery of packages, a service the U.S. Postal Service provides for customers such as


APRIL 2018: 


The annual Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) industry sales analysis reports that promotional products industry sales for 2017 increased 9.31 percent, totaling $23.3 billion. That's the highest sales volume in 18 years. PPAI attributed the increased growth to two main factors: online sales and sales of products from non-industry providers (such as Walmart and CafePress). Non-industry providers accounted for about $3.4 billion in product sales (14% of the total dollar volume). Online sales and e-commerce will continue to increase as smartphone usage and capabilities grow. Total online sales increased by 28.1 percent, reaching $5.3 billion.


The Port of Los Angeles moved more cargo in 2017 than in any time in the Port's 110-year history, racking up 9,343,192 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (also known as a 20' container). This is a 5.5% percent increase over 2016's record-breaking year. It's was the most cargo moved annually by a Western Hemisphere port. This growth was a result of technology upgrades which aggregate key cargo data online to facilitate better cargo tracking, projections, and productivity. The Port's infrastructure was also upgraded to service increasingly larger ships.


Fleet operators ordered 32,900 Class 8 trucks in November, a 70% boost over a year ago, giving truck makers their strongest two-month stretch for orders since the start of 2015. Trucking companies are adding capacity as strong economic growth fuels surging ship volume and prices. Carrier confidence is high for 2018, providing relief to many in the industry that laid off workers in 2016 as orders fell to multi-year lows. The only brake on the fleet owners' expansion plans, in fact, may be finding enough drivers to run the big rigs.

Sources: PPAI Magazine, WSJ Logistics Report

If you'd like to apply 30 years of insider knowledge to a targeted fulfillment solution for your next program, please contact us. We work with 11 tried-and-true warehouses throughout the country, each having different strengths, IT capabilities, production capacity and shipping rates. Based on the specifics of your program, we will expertly negotiate, select and manage your fulfillment project with unsurpassed customer service.

Please call us at 818.262.0613 or reply to this email so we can talk about costs and efficiency for your supply chain.

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