Major parcel carriers, including UPS, Fedex and USPS, are cautioning us to honor shipping deadlines like never before, in order to ensure parcels arrive at consumer doorsteps in time for the holidays. With online, direct-to-consumer sales at an all-time high, shipping volumes for ecommerce order fulfillment will also skyrocket. Layer on port delays and the tightest transportation capacity market we’ve seen in decades, shipping deadlines are mission-critical to keep in mind as goods in the supply chain make their way into retail sales, especially for ecommerce order fulfillment.
These deadlines come after already announced parcel shipment surcharges in nearly all domestic and international markets. In short, it’s going to take longer and cost you more to ship small parcels this holiday season.
TAGG Logistics, a leading 3PL company, has written today’s blog post as part of our TAGG Peak Prep program. TAGG Peak Prep is a volume forecasting and resource allocation strategy built to keep client orders flowing in a timely manner during the peak holiday season.
Here is a summary of the shipping deadlines you need to know from UPS, Fedex and USPS:
FedEx holiday shipping deadlines for ecommerce order fulfillment
FedEx Express will have these dates as the last day to ship small parcels in order for them to arrive in time for Christmas:
- FedEx 1 Day Freight — Thurs., Dec. 23
- FedEx 2 Day Freight — Weds., Dec. 22
- FedEx 3 Day Freight — Tues., Dec. 21
- Express Saver — Tues., Dec. 21
- 2Day & 2Day AM — Weds., Dec. 22
- Overnight Services — Thurs., Dec. 23
- FedEx Same Day — Fri., Dec. 24
FedEx Ground’s shipping deadlines include:
- FedEx Ground Economy — Thurs., Dec. 9
- FedEx Ground and Home Delivery — Weds., Dec. 15
FedEx Freight’s shipping deadlines include:
- FedEx Freight Economy — Thurs., Dec. 9
- FedEx Freight Priority — Weds., Dec. 15
- FedEx Freight Direct — Weds., Dec. 15
UPS holiday shipping deadlines for ecommerce order fulfillment
In order to ensure arrival by Christmas Eve (December 24, 2021), UPS has released these key shipping deadlines for US Domestic shipments:
- UPS 3 Day Select – Tues. Dec. 21
- UPS 2nd Day Air – Wed. Dec. 22
- UPS Next Day Air – Thurs. Dec. 23
- UPS Ground – dates vary based on origin and destination. Calculate specific scenarios online at: www.ups.com/ctc
Note: Deadlines vary for US to Canada and US to Mexico.
USPS holiday shipping deadlines for ecommerce order fulfillment
Key shipping deadlines you need to know from the United States Postal Service (USPS) include:
- USPS Retail Ground Service — Weds., Dec. 15
- First-Class Mail Service — Fri., Dec. 17 (including greeting cards)
- First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces) — Fri., Dec. 17
- Priority Mail Service — Sat., Dec. 18
- Priority Mail Express — Thurs., Dec. 23
- USPS Alaska
- First-Class Mail and Priority Mail — Sat, Dec. 18
- Priority Mail Express — Tues, Dec. 21
- USPS Hawaii
- Priority Mail and First-Class Mail — Dec. 17
- Priority Mail Express — Dec. 21
Stay up to date with USPS dates and the latest developments at: https://www.usps.com/holiday/holiday-shipping-dates.htm
Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Insights
Last holiday season, more than a million gifts ordered online were not delivered in time, according to CBSNews.com. The causes were unprecedented—including a dramatic increase in residential shipment volumes for ecommerce order fulfillment, a tight labor market and a shortage of transportation resources. These fulfillment challenges remain as we head into the 2021 holiday season.
Footnote: Because the holiday peak season is dynamic and changes quickly, we recommend getting the most up-to-date information from parcel carriers directly on their websites at USPS.com, Fedex.com and UPS.com.
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