How to Avoid Holiday Shipping Nightmares

December 08, 2017

How to Avoid Holiday Shipping Nightmares


Tis the season -- and if you are expecting company swag delivered to your business or toys and gifts delivered to your home address, the delivery game changes in December. 

U.S. e-commerce sales were $121.460 billion in the third quarter 2018, a 14.3% increase over Q3 2017, the Department of Commerce reported recently. 

And that's what drives package delivery times. Volume. 


Don't Chance It

We tell our clients who have ordered corporate gifts or trade show swag to build in extra time for delivery year round but especially in November and December. A thunderstorm in Memphis affects FedEx many months of the year as do wildfires in California, hurricanes in Florida and Texas and Northeast snowstorms -- just to name a few recent challenges.

Here's what not everyone knows: bets are off for guaranteed deliveries in the month of December. 


 The One Thing You MUST Know

The first thing you need to know is exactly where an item ships from. (The pros here at PROMOrx can give you the details on anything you purchase from our website! We GET the shipping details necessary to get your orders there on time.) If you don't know, ask. It's critical when you must make an informed decision about shipping and arrival. 

Here's what UPS says as of November 26, 2018: 

UPS Air and international Air packages picked up or delivered within the United States are guaranteed throughout the holiday season. Commitment times for Air and international Air packages scheduled for delivery Nov. 23, Dec. 17–22, Dec. 24, and Dec. 31 will be extended as follows: UPS Next Day Air Early and UPS Worldwide Express Plus services will be extended by 90 minutes and all other Air and international Air services will be extended to end-of-day. The guarantee is suspended for all UPS Ground shipments, including shipments to and from AK, HI and PR, and UPS Standard shipments picked up or scheduled for delivery Nov. 26–Dec. 24.

And what about FedEx? First, you need to know which FedEx method is being used: Ground, Home Delivery or Express. 

The money-back guarantee for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery® will be suspended temporarily for packages picked up on Monday, Nov. 26, through Monday, Dec. 24, 2018

FedEx Express Money-Back guarantee suspended Tuesday, Dec. 18, through Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, for shipments delivered by the end of the day on the published delivery commitment date for the selected service and destination.

The Best Advice?

  • Allow extra time.
  • Ship express. 
  • Ship to a business address.
  • Ship to a FedEx or UPS hold location. 
  • Ship after the holiday rush. If it's a business gift, it will get lots more attention in January. 

If UPS and FedEx don't guarantee shipments this month,
businesses won't either - well, if they pay attention to the details.

And if an order is delivered late -- after the event or heaven forbid, Santa is late --
what good is a guarantee? 

Yep. That's my point.