The idea of sending a box through the mail to family is a concept that’s been around for at least a century. Busy city workers saved their wages from August onwards and used spare cash to fund lavish gifts for family members in rural areas.
That dynamic might have slowed in recent years, but the demand for boxes sent overseas is booming. Workers migrating between regions is creating a boom in a once tepid industry, with boxes galore finding their way onto airmail planes and shipping containers.
The U.S. is right at the bleeding edge of this trend. It offers migrants the fattest paychecks, giving them more disposable income than those in other regions. And it is at the epicentre of the global shipping business, with dozens of high-quality firms, ready and able to send packages overseas.
Seven Seas Worldwideis one such company seeing demand for its services rise as Christmas approaches. Customers are looking to send packages and boxes of gifts overseas to families.
“We’re seeing a big spike in demand now that the festive season is approaching. Thousands of customers are looking to send packages to places like Indonesia, Eastern Europe, India and the Philippines.,” a company spokesperson said. “There’s tremendous demand for these types of non-cash remittances at this time of year from those who are trying to support folks back home and ensure their festive season is equally enjoyable. We actually have specific services designed to cater to the Indian market, including multiple MoveCube and container routes, designed to make the process more straightforward and reliable.”
But, of course, it’s not just the remittance marketthat’s pushing demand. Box shipping is big business for many other reasons at this time of year. Consumers at large want items for the holiday season, including decorations, food items, and gifts. The e-commerce business is also driving the need for cardboard products and shipping services and more consumers eschew Mainstreet for online alternatives.
“We’re geared up for this type of demand,” Seven Seas Worldwide says. “Our team has the facilities to ship bags, belongings, boxes, and the household's entire possessions. We also have two weeks of free storage before and after shipping, making our services easier for those on the move.”
Of course, box shipping was historically challenging because of customs. Now, though, the industry is getting its act together to streamline the process. According to Seven Seas Worldwide, companies now do most work for customers.
“Customers used to face all sorts of shipping dilemmas historically. But these days, things are significantly more straightforward. Partners are dealing with customs on customers’ behalf, meaning box shipping to far-flung places is getting easier. Of course, some countries don’t offer much leeway. If box shipments are forbidden because they contain too much of a specific article, officials will reject them. But in general, diligent customers who follow the rules for specific jurisdictions will be highly likely to have their needs met.”
Seven Seas Worldwide, like many other players in the market, operates across oceans in a truly global market. Asia, Europe, North America and South Africa are all valid box shipping destinations for overseas residents.
“Most companies operate a simple shipping process,” Seven Seas Worldwide says. “For instance, customers start by getting a free online quick quote. They just enter package-related details, like weight and dimensions. The calculator then works out how much the shipment will cost. After that customers choose the shipment date and someone will collect their package from their front door for them. Finally, it gets delivered to their chosen address, wherever that is in the world.”
The level of activity around Christmas in this market is extreme. While some cultures don’t celebrate this festival, it is still a valuable element of the culture in many countries, particularly those in the European and American orbits.
“Things can get exceptionally busy around Christmas time,” Seven Seas Worldwide reports. “Thousands of shipments for the holidays come in and they all need to arrive before the December 25th deadline. This fact makes it challenging for companies, mixed with the fact that December 25th is a mandatory vacation period for many people. At the same time, poor weather in the Northern Hemisphere and strains on national infrastructural systems can wreak havoc and cause problems up and down the supply chain.” Supply chain challengeswere on display over Christmas 2021 and 2022 when the world was reeling from the aftermath of COVID-19 shutdowns in East Asia. Companies struggled to get goods in and out, leading to high and unpredictable prices across numerous sectors.
Another source of demand comes from the need for retail stores to replenish their inventories in anticipation of the busiest time of the year. Companies regularly ship in excess of 25 percent of annual demand in the weeks running up to December 25th, which makes the situation even more dramatic for some firms. Replenishment is a constant concern, with stores designed to deal with typical volumes during the rest of the year.
As such, Seven Seas Worldwide suggests that anything considering sending a box, parcel or package overseas start preparing now. “While Christmas might still be a few months away, customers who want to avoid disappointment should begin considering shipping arrangements now. All packages will arrive at their intended destinations, but the spike in demand before the Christmas period means that firms can’t guarantee last-minute shipping dates. Delays are inevitable.”
With ongoing global political and geostrategic developments, the international parcel market may continue to face disruptions. Operators may struggle to provide continuity of service to some regions, depending on their arrangement in those localities. Shipments and airmail may still get through, but there are risks.
Ultimately, the growth in the box shipping market is not solely due to the impact of Christmas, but that’s a key part of it. The industry knows it needs to adapt to the new trend or get left behind by rivals who are more prepared to offer these types of services.