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Shipping Demands, Your Customers & The Upcoming 3 Tips to Help You Prepare

By Last updated on: October 17, 2023

‘Tis the season for shipping… and there’s no better time to prepare your business for the demands consumers expect this upcoming holiday shipping season.

Whether you’re an e-commerce based business, a marketplace seller, a vendor shipping to merchants, or offer shipping in any other capacity, aligning your holiday business goals with an efficient shipping strategy is essential. Among the key factors you should consider include understanding carrier delivery schedules, knowing your customer frustrations, and identifying why extra fees might add to your parcel overhead. To help, consider the below tips.

Holiday Shipping Season

Tip #1: Know the Holiday Service Schedules from FedEx and UPS

Whether you ship exclusively with one carrier or offer a multi-carrier shipping strategy for your business, it’s essential to know the holiday service schedules of FedEx and UPS this holiday season. Among the key dates to identify include the last day you can ship a Ground package, use UPS Next Day Air, or provide a FedEx Priority delivery, each arriving on time for Christmas. Using the graph below, reference the key dates your company should consider when supporting your shipping needs during the year’s busiest shopping season.

Tip #2: Know Customer Holiday Shipping Season Shipping Pain Points

A study from Pitney Bowes identified that nearly half (47%) of online shoppers reported frustration with everything from shipping to returns to lost products during holiday shopping. This study revealed that 75% of consumers prefer free shipping with longer delivery times. Consequently, only 25% are willing to pay for expedited parcel shipments.

Ease your customer holiday shipping season frustration by offering efficient shipping strategies. This may include free shipping, flexible delivery options, and easy-to-process orders. Incorporating the cost of shipping into your inventory charges, for example, can help give the perception to your customers that their shipping is free even if you know this isn’t the case. The main takeaway here, however, is to make sure shipping is as seamless as possible. Remember, remove any obstacle in a buyer’s path to purchase once they’re ready to buy.

Tip #3: Understand What Extra Fees May Be Applied to Your Shipping Overhead

FedEx and UPS alike have a way of sneaking on extra surcharges, much to the surprise of many customers. It is critical, however, for shippers to confidently understand what surcharges will apply during the holiday season. This allows a better understanding of what extra variables may impact their shipping and costs. Leveraging a parcel auditing strategy in your shipping process can help you capture refunds and reduce peak surcharges.

In addition, it also helps to reduce your at-large parcel overhead. Implement a parcel auditing strategy into your shipping efforts to ensure your holidays aren’t filled with extra, avoidable costs. With no set-up fee, monthly fees, or cancellation costs, there are zero excuses not to begin incorporating parcel auditing into your holiday shipping season efforts… and beyond. Discover more about how parcel auditing can help your business here.

UPS Demand Surcharges

For the holidays, UPS Peak Surcharges will impact all shippers. UPS will increase the following surcharges:

  • Over Maximum Limits: an additional $410 per package
  • Additional Handling packages: an additional $6.90 per package
  • Large Packages: an additional $74.90 per package 

FedEx Demand Surcharges

Additionally, FedEx will also increase a few surcharges.

  • Oversize Charge: an additional $73.00 per package
  • Additional Handling Surcharge: an additional $6.95 per package
  • Ground Unauthorized Charge: an additional $410 per package

Holiday Shipping in a Nutshell

Finally, holiday shipping season expectations among consumers are no longer what they used to be. Their expectations for same-day or next-day delivery are becoming the norm versus the exception. In addition, their preference to shop online is becoming more dependent on mobile, easy-to-navigate websites that can identify preferred shipping preferences. Keeping these critical factors in mind:

  • Have a clear understanding of carrier holiday schedules.
  • Cater to customer expectations and know potential pain points.
  • Extra surcharges will apply to your shipping efforts, so hire Refund Retriever for your parcel audit recovery.
Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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