Blog / Don’t miss Santa’s sleigh: UPS and FedEx holiday deadlines
2 minutes read

Don’t miss Santa’s sleigh: UPS and FedEx holiday deadlines

Holiday deliveries are a little more complicated than Santa loading up his sleigh. It’s no secret that supply chain issues are affecting businesses worldwide, and the LA Port backlog may lead to IOUs under the tree instead of presents this holiday season. As of last week, more than 100 container ships idled outside the port that accepts more than 40% of the containers to the US. In an effort to start clearing the backlog, the Biden administration announced that the port would remain open 24/7

When White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, was asked whether this move would guarantee holiday deliveries, she replied, “We are not the Postal Service or UPS or FedEx; we cannot guarantee.” Instead, she says, “ What we can do is use every lever at the federal government’s disposal to reduce delays, to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the system, including ports and the need for them to be open longer hours so that goods can arrive.”

While we may not be able to do anything about the goods stuck in the LA Port, there are a few things businesses can to do be prepared for the 2021 holiday season. We’ll talk about the newly released UPS and FedEx shipping deadlines, and how your business can pre-plan your shipping strategy for a successful and profitable holiday season.

UPS + FedEx shipping deadlines

We don’t recommend waiting until the last minute to ship holiday items, but sometimes, there’s no way around it. Last week, FedEx and UPS announced their holiday shipping deadlines. Keep these dates in mind when you develop your holiday marketing and promotion strategy.

FedEx shipping deadlines

Packages shipped domestically through FedEx are subject to the following deadlines:  

  • December 9: FedEx Ground® Economy + FedEx Freight® Economy
  • December 15: FedEx Freight® Priority + Direct and all other FedEx Home Delivery® and FedEx Ground® services 
  • December 21: FedEx Express Saver® + FedEx 3Day® Freight
  • December 22: 2Day & 2Day AM + FedEx 2Day® Freight
  • December 23: FO, PO, SO, Extra Hours + FedEx 1Day® Freight
  • December 24: FedEx Same Day®

To learn more about deadlines for shipments to Canada, Mexico, and other international destinations, please visit the FedEx website.

UPS shipping deadlines

Packages shipped domestically through UPS are subject to the following deadlines:   

  • Use the UPS “Calculate Time and Cost” tool for ground shipping deadlines according to your needs
  • December 21: UPS 3 Day Select®
  • December 22: UPS 2nd Day Air® services
  • December 23: UPS Next Day Air® services

To learn more about deadlines for shipments to Canada, Mexico, and other international destinations, please visit the UPS website.

Challenging holiday season

This may be the most challenging holiday shipping season in recent memory (and we’ve had several over the last decade). The 5Ps of success ring especially true during the holiday season. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Plan your strategy early, communicate deadlines to your customers, and offer incentives to customers who shop early.

Happy Holidays from ShipRx!


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