October 31, 2023
Recommended Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2023 for Flexport Fulfillment Merchants
Today’s modern online shopper chooses which brand to purchase from based on a few key factors:
- If they can purchase from multiple sales channels. 75% of U.S. consumers now research and purchase both online and in-store.
- How quickly they can receive their package and at what cost. Last year, more than 60% of shoppers expected their orders to ship free and arrive within three business days.
- If the brand offers an easy and flexible returns policy. Online businesses that invest in a solid returns process see a 12% increase in customer satisfaction.
- If the brand’s values align with theirs. A recent survey of 2,000 adults in the U.S. conducted by the New York Post revealed that 48% of all respondents stopped supporting or using a brand because their values didn’t align with something they’ve said or done.
Learn more about these purchasing behaviors in our 2023 Logistics Trends Report.
But the single most important determining factor of whether a customer will purchase from your brand is if your delivery experience is timely, transparent, and tactical. 45% of shoppers are now actively looking to purchase from businesses that clearly display anticipated delivery timelines, especially before reaching the checkout page. This becomes especially true during the holidays as the urgency for on-time deliveries increases.
At Flexport, our operations team works especially hard during peak season to ensure our delivery experience exceeds your and your customers’ expectations. That’s why we’re here to communicate important dates to mark on your calendar and communicate with your customers during the holiday season. Read on to learn when your customers should place orders and when the holiday shipping deadlines 2023 are for orders to arrive in time.
Deadline for Customers To Place Their Purchases With Your Brand
In order to ensure items are shipped in time for the day your customers exchange gifts with loved ones, they must place their online order before 2 pm EST on December 13, 2023. This gives our Operations team enough time to pick and pack orders before carriers’ shipping cutoff dates (more on this later!).
Here are some tips for how to communicate this information with returning customers and those who land on your site for the first time:
- Returning customers: Send an email to your loyal customers informing them when they should place holiday orders.
- New customers: Enable fast shipping badges on your website that display ‘deliver by’ dates (e.g., order by 12/13 for promised delivery before Christmas).
The Deadline for Your Brand to Ship Customers’ Orders
An order arriving at its final destination in time for the holidays is heavily dependent on the cutoff dates implemented by shipping carriers.
Flexport partners with several major parcel carriers including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL to ensure a wide range of delivery coverage based on where your inventory (and customer demand) is located.
To determine the latest possible date for outbound shipments to depart a
Flexport fulfillment center and arrive on your customer’s doorstep on time, our transportation team conducted an analysis of carriers’ cutoff dates for popular shipping windows. We then added a one-day buffer to each ‘last day to ship’ date to better align with last year’s average carrier delivery window of 12-15 days.
Based on this analysis, we strongly recommend adhering to the following shipping deadlines for all U.S. shipments:
|Carrier shipping window||Last day to ship|
|5+ days||Thursday, 12/14|
|4 days||Friday, 12/15|
|3 days||Monday, 12/18|
|2 days||Tuesday, 12/19|
|1 day||Wednesday, 12/20|
If you have any questions about these dates and deadlines, please reach out to our Support team.
The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.
Flexport’s Fulfillment Fees Won’t Include Surcharges During the 2023 Peak Season
Navigating Peak Season: A Better Way to Finance Your Peak Season
Adjustments to Flexport’s Inventory Removal Services and Storage Fees During Peak Season 2023