Tips for 2019 Holiday Shipping & Last Dates to Ship!
It is the most wonderful time of year — eCommerce Holiday Season!
As many companies have already planned promotions and are finalizing forecasting, it’s important to remember key carrier cut-off dates to ensure a positive experience for your customers. Here are a few tips from our Transportation and Compliance team to keep your holiday shipping running smoothly.
Many Service Level Guarantees are suspended during this time
While some service levels, particularly for air and international deliveries, remain in force, most ground delivery service levels are suspended during the holidays. We suggest that you work with your carrier or 3PL provider to determine which service levels will continue to be guaranteed.
Postal options are not day-definite
Unlike non-postal based solutions, e.g., UPS Ground or FedEx Ground, USPS and DHL Global Mail may not be able to provide day-definite delivery dates. In these instances, it’s best to play it safe and not guarantee delivery by Christmas for any orders placed after a certain point. (Our transportation team recommends December 9, 2019 as a safe cut-off date).
Take into consideration fulfillment time
When looking at dates to guarantee delivery by Christmas, keep in mind that that warehouses and fulfillment centers will typically need a few additional days to process orders during this high-volume period. On that note, be sure to plan your inbound inventory shipments well in advance to have sufficient inventory available for order fulfillment.
Ensure proper documentation
Make sure to include any required documentation such as commercial invoices for export shipments and hazardous materials labeling for lithium ion batteries. It’s essential to maintain compliance and work closely with your 3PL during this time to prevent additional delays during this busy season.
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Casey Billings is a Product Marketing Manager at IMCLS focusing on eCommerce and Technology. Her work is devoted to product and feature launches, generating demand and understanding how our products make our customers’ lives easier. She’s previously spent time on our Global Account Management team, gaining a better understanding of our customers’ point of view and experiences first hand. She has a passion for customer communications and nerdy product launches, as well as, tennis and hiking in the Pacific Northwest.