Loading... Please wait...
  • My Account

Blog - USPS

Holiday season shipping, when does it peak? What do you need to know and how to prepare?

Posted by

Since we are all probably feeling a bit queasy and bloated today from too much turkey, stuffing and other Thanksgiving goodies let’s try to keep things light and look at holiday season shipping. This is a subject that touches everyone in online retail small or large, you rely on your preferred parcel carrier daily to get that package safely to your customer, and this concern only grows as the holiday shopping season rolls around. As a seller you may have wondered once or twice, just when is the peak of the holiday season? Is there a particular day when you can expect your sales volume to hit its high mark? This is a tricky question to answer since lots of variables are involved and every business experiences the holiday rush differently but if you want a good indicator you can probably look to your carrier to answer this question. For the purposes of this article let’s look at the USPS and what they anticipate to ship as well as when they anticipate shipping volume to hit its peak. The USPS expects to deliver 900 million packages this holiday season by far the largest number of parcels of any of the major carriers by comparison UPS expects to deliver about 800 million and FedEx roughly half that number. While the USPS does not state a particular day which this volume hits its maximum, they tell us that they expect to ship around 200 million packages a week starting on December 10th and that the week of December 17th to the 23rd is expected to be the busiest of these holiday season weeks. So that sweet spot is that last week before Christmas, this stands to reason it’s your last-minute shoppers frantically trying to finish up their purchases making this week into a veritable blizzard of parcels. The only problem with this is that these last-minute shoppers are woefully ignorant of just how crazy shipping this week will be and the likelihood of packages being delayed increases dramatically. So as a seller what can and should you do to avoid the disgruntled last-minute holiday shopper that does not get their package in time? Very simply tell your customers the cutoffs. All of the major carriers clearly list a cutoff for Christmas delivery (see below) and so should you in big, bold, bright letters so they are not missed. Obviously, you will have a few customers still waiting until the last minute, but you can minimize this by stating these cutoffs and manage their expectations better. Obviously still expect to be very busy this last week before the Christmas holiday and make sure to build some extra time into your schedule to deal with the increased demand. Last but not least do not run out of the essentials like boxes, padded envelopes, tape and most important of all inventory!

USPS: Shipping service cutoff dates to ensure Christmas delivery

Retail Ground - Friday, Dec. 14

First Class Mail - Thursday, Dec. 20

Priority Mail - Thursday, Dec. 20

Priority Mail - Express Saturday, Dec. 22

FedEx: Shipping service cutoff dates to ensure Christmas delivery

SmartPost Services - Monday, Dec. 10

Ground - Friday, Dec. 14

Home Delivery - Monday, Dec. 17

Express Saver - Wednesday, Dec. 19

2Day Services Thursday, Dec. 20

Overnight Services Friday, Dec. 21

UPS: Shipping service cutoff dates to ensure Christmas delivery

Ground - Friday, Dec. 14

3 Day Select - Tuesday, Dec. 18

2nd Day Air Services - Thursday, Dec. 20

Next Day Air Services - Saturday, Dec. 22

Dramatic new developments on the problem of terminal dues

Terminal dues? What are these again? And what do I need to know? Good question, please see our previous article on the subject and a more in-depth look on how terminal dues helped to create the e-packet. You are probably quite familiar with the e-packet from shopping online, E-packets cover a wide array of consumer goods all weighing 4.4 pounds [...]

Read More »

Some holiday season shipping advice

So the holiday frenzy is finally upon us and now’s the time to buckle down and sell, sell, sell but with increased volume comes increased headaches with the inevitable delayed or disappearing packages or worse yet the dreaded open box or envelope. Sadly, these things happen but there are steps you can take to keep these delays and losses [...]

Read More »

Amazon how its changing how we receive a package

In case you missed it Amazon made an announcement this week about a new home delivery service called Amazon Key. Basically it’s a camera with a smart lock; the carrier scans the package, once authorized the door unlocks and the camera records as the carrier places the package inside the door. Once completed, the carrier swipes a second time [...]

Read More »

Shipping from China is sooo cheap! But not for much longer!

Just over a year ago we shared with our readers some information on the universal postal union, the governing body that oversees all international postal trade and establishes the rates for these shipments(click here for the full article). In particular we focused on terminal fees and how these fees being set low for countries like China and Singapore has [...]

Read More »

Is it time to get a new scale?

Now I am guessing you are not using something that resembles the scales of justice or your bathroom scale (which is never right!) to weigh your packages for the shipping labels but just how accurate is your scale? This question is about to become even more important next month for online sellers. Starting August 1st USPS will initiate its [...]

Read More »

APD and the bright future at the post office

Hate standing in line at the post office to drop off your packages? Sure you can probably do a scan form but a lot of sites just don’t make this easy to do or maybe you have new orders coming at all hours of the day so you pack as they come in. You would love to just [...]

Read More »

The high cost of shipping and how marketplaces you sell in are not helping

Have you shipped a package to the east or west coast recently only to find out that the shipping is more than the sale price of the item? Yes it happens all the time now rates keep climbing year after year and in particular with the US postal service. We previously covered some of the many reasons in our [...]

Read More »

Times are tough for the international seller .

International sellers have been taking a beating for some time now if you have seen your international sales go from a steady stream to a trickle you are not alone. What is causing this slowdown? Well for starters you could look at the strong dollar, great for that European trip you have always wanted to take but not so [...]

Read More »

Why is shipping from China soooo cheap? Terminal dues and how they are impacting e commerce

Ever find a listing on eBay with a small item such as a piece of clothing, jewelry or perhaps a power cord for your phone and wonder how is it so cheap and how they charge nothing or next to nothing for shipping? We were recently updating some hardware in the offices and needed a few cables. What we [...]

Read More »



View all categories

Recent Updates

Connect with us