The holidays are coming up and before you know it, you’ll have packages that need to be shipped out NOW! Here are some tips and key dates to remember to stay on top of holiday shipping for your customers.
Your best bet is to ship as much as you can, as soon as you can. We know that can’t always be possible, so the next step is to be prepared! The US Postal Service expects customer traffic to increase starting the week of December 9, two weeks before Christmas, with the busiest time of the season expected to be the week before Christmas, December 16 – 22.
Start Your Shipping Strategy Now
If you don’t have a plan on how you’re going to ship your orders, get started before it’s too late! There are a few things to consider before deciding how to handle shipping. For example, if your order volume is low, you can save money by printing labels at home and bringing packages to your shipper.
At VantagePoint, we use ShipStation to fulfill our orders. It integrates with WooCommerce and has the orders from our website ready to go as soon as we open it up. It only takes a minute to weigh and measure the package, enter those numbers and get shipping prices for all carriers, allowing us to get the best price. We finish up by printing our label and any paperwork (customized with our logo) that goes with.
If you’d like to support us, use this link to sign up for ShipStation, if you decide to stay with them after your 30-day free trial, they’ll send us a referral bonus!
To save money, you’ll want to make your packaging as small as possible while still having enough room for any padding you need. Using smaller packaging will save shipping costs, and if your shipments are similar in size, buying one size of packaging in bulk will also help you save. If you’re shipping small, heavy items, flat-rate boxes are a great choice. For those who want to showcase their brand with custom packaging, we’re here to help, or you can check out these printing companies:
USPS, FedEx and UPS offer solutions for small businesses shipping lower volumes. Try them out and see which ones work best for your business.
In order to get your packages delivered by December 25, here are the deadlines to keep in mind (and a handy PDF from ShipStation if you’d like a reminder). Many carriers’ guarantees may be modified or suspended during the holiday rush due to weather and other conditions.
USPS Deadlines & Key Dates
- Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards) & Packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
- Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express (not guaranteed)
- Dec. 25 – No USPS Pickup or Delivery Services
FedEx Deadlines & Key Dates
- Dec. 9 – FedEx SmartPost
- Dec. 16 – FedEx Ground & Home Delivery
- Dec. 19. – Express Saver
- Dec. 20 – 2Day Services
- Dec. 23 – Overnight Services
- Dec. 25 – SameDay Services available for additional fee
UPS Deadlines & Key Dates
- Nov. 25 – UPS Ground may have added transit times
- Dec. 13 – UPS Ground
- Dec. 19 – UPS 3 Day Select
- Dec. 20 – UPS 2nd Day Air
- Dec. 23 – UPS Next Day Air
- Dec. 24 – Limited UPS Service
- Dec. 25 – No UPS Pickup or Delivery Services
And if you want to sell shirts without having to worry about inventory, ordering, and shipping, check out the VantagePoint Quick Apparel Program! We print the shirts, ship them out, and send you a share of the profits.