The rush of the holidays is approaching fast and online sellers need to prepare now to handle this festive and busy time of year. Anticipating how to deal with damaged or lost packages, unexpected surcharges, increased packaging materials and more can not only ease shipping stresses, but also provide more clarity to your shipping expenses and needs.
Tip #1: Know Shipping Blackout Dates
At the very core of any online seller’s shipping strategy is the need for timely deliveries. Know what the blackout dates are for deliveries and pickups to be made this holiday season. UPS identifies Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as official holidays and will not pick up or deliver on these days. For a full list of holiday blackout dates throughout the year, click here.
Tip #2 Don’t rely on Guaranteed Delivery as a Seller
Most shippers are aware of the UPS and FedEx delivery guarantee. Each package is guaranteed to arrive on time or it’s free. However, this guarantee is altered during the peak holiday season. The money-back guarantee for FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, and UPS Ground will be suspended temporarily for packages on November 26 through December 24, 2018.
Tip #3: Understand When, Where & Why Extra Expenses May Occur
UPS and FedEx each increase fees during the holiday season. Gain clarity on what fees may impact your business as well as aim to avoid them whenever possible by considering the following:
- FedEx will not apply additional residential surcharges during the holiday season; however, UPS will.
- UPS and FedEx each take different approaches to peak surcharges so be sure to review your carrier contracts accordingly.
- Beginning November 19 and concluding December 24, 2018, FedEx and UPS will apply additional peak surcharges to shipments that qualify as unauthorized, oversized or require additional handling in addition to existing charges. For a better understanding of these peak charges, click here.