Think about one man and some reindeer travelling the length and breadth of the world packing, sorting  and delivering gifts for each and everyone of us. Logistical nightmare unless you have the magic of Christmas on your side. However the reality especially this time of the year is that behind the scenes the logistics industry is stretched to the absolute max. Take into account It wasn’t too long ago, relatively speaking, that free delivery and returns felt like a special added-bonus. Now, 60% of retailers surveyed say they will offer both this holiday season.

Like in most industries technology is allowing businesses within the logistics sector to accelerate their offering and to improve customer experience.

In addition to using technology to help optimize delivery locations, logistics companies must also leverage new technologies to optimize delivery methods.New mobile apps and real-time data analytics tools allow retailers and logistics partners to dynamically select which channel best optimizes speed, cost and convenience, including nationwide express networks, regional carriers, postal consolidators or even local couriers. And, since many consumers don’t care who delivers their package--whether it’s the delivery person they’re familiar with or a stranger who is working in today’s gig economy--delivery options are increasing. Harnessing the power of multiple delivery channels can be powerful year-round, but it will be a particularly essential tool during the peak holiday season. For a logistics company, then, staying ahead requires the use of software and algorithms that not only help keep track of available inventory across multiple warehouses but also through which channel that inventory should be shipped.

All of this is real and developments for the better but lets not forget the magic of what time of year it is. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and HoHoHo.