THIS year’s ‘Black Friday’ is likely to provide extra strain on the supply chain and logistics sector, says BluJay regional director for Australia – New Zealand Paul Soong.

As a reminder, Black Friday (27 November) is an informal name for the Friday following American Thanksgiving.

Australians care little for Thanksgiving, but the day has become associated with a rush of sales, something that has filtered through to this side of the Pacific.

Mr Soong said they were expecting this year’s Black Friday to be the busiest ever for the Australian supply chain.

“Australia Post has forecasted that Black Friday 2020 to be the largest online shopping peak in Australian history,” he said.

Paul Soong is expecting a surge in demand for goods. Credit: BluJay

“Consequently, delivery firms can expect Black Friday, and the days following, to be the busiest period of the year, as the supply chain manages the massive surge in online shopping orders.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down global borders from the end of March, firms have encountered a perfect storm of shipping delays combined with massive increases in consumer shipping demand due to an explosion in online shopping.”

Mr Soong said recent BluJay research had revealed Australian consumers had heightened expectations around the delivery experience, pointing to free and fast shipping as well as flexible and traceable deliveries.

“Despite the challenges 2020 has thrown at us, Black Friday may yet be the biggest stress test for the supply chain industry as retailers put pressure on delivery firms to ensure seamless online shopping experiences are met with seamless delivery experiences,” he said.

“Black Friday 2020 will set a new benchmark for dealing with peak, setting the new norm of sustained high delivery volumes for the rest of the year and beyond.

“In order to stay ahead of the peak and secure lucrative ongoing relationships with online retailers beyond Black Friday, delivery firms must be capable of scaling up capacity, speed and tracking functionality, whilst also ensuring social distancing and employee safety requirements are met.