‘Twas the night before peak season and all through the house... all the shippers were stirring because they needed hot holiday tips! To streamline your busy season ahead, we’ve compiled all-things-holiday-shipping here in one convenient location. Make sure to check back in as the season progresses and use these holiday shipping tips to grow customer loyalty and retention, all while making the season merry and bright!
Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2023
Need it there by Dec. 23? Follow these key deadlines to ensure your shipments arrive on time via holiday shipping from UPS.
- UPS® Ground (Recommended) Check ups.com/ctc for the most up-to-date transit times.
- UPS 3 Day Select® Monday, Dec.19
- UPS 2nd Day Air® services Wednesday, Dec. 20
- UPS Next Day Air® services* Thursday, Dec. 21
Holiday Service Alerts
Some may say, "let it snow!" But we know that surprise weather delays, natural disasters and other holiday-related service issues can have a big impact on your peak season shipping. Check out our Service Alerts page before booking shipments to make sure that your orders stay on track.
UPS® and Freight Carrier Holiday Schedules
Managing a holiday calendar and factoring in pickup windows or limited operating hours are key to a successful holiday shipping season. Make sure to keep carriers’ end-of-year schedules in mind to avoid just-in-time or stuck shipments!
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on Sunday and Monday in 2023. Many companies will extend closures to include Friday, Dec. 22, resulting in a 4-day closure, so plan your shipping cutoff times accordingly.
- Work ahead of your typical fulfillment timelines to ensure that you’re on schedule for pickups. Always list your true opening and closing times to provide carriers with the widest available pickup window.
- Set realistic expectations regarding cutoff times, transit times and delays. Communicate these expected timelines with your customers to avoid complications, build rapport and encourage repeat business in the new year.
Holiday Rates and Surcharges
It's no secret that the holiday season brings the heat in terms of shipping demand. Fuller trucks and more shipments lead to higher costs — an effect you've likely experienced throughout the past few years.
While you can't control the premium on capacity, you can avoid unnecessary fees and know which ones might affect you.
Please note that, as of October 1, UPS has increased several of its charges including additional handling, large package surcharges and packages over maximum limits (up to $410 per oversized package). If you're an e-commerce shipper, reach out to your franchisee as some of the demand surcharges may be waived.
UPS Demand Surcharges may* apply for:
- Packages that require additional handling and large packages for all U.S. domestic, U.S. import and U.S. export shipments
- Certain UPS Air Residential UPS Ground Residential and UPS SurePost® packages for all U.S. domestic shipments
- International shipments from all origins to all destinations
*Some surcharges have certain volume requirements in order to apply; check how you might be affected by referring to the UPS Demand Surcharges guide.
Being short on time doesn't necessarily mean you're short on options. In fact, many of our less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier partners offer shortened transit times, and some guaranteed services may be available. For your small package shipments, UPS has reinstated some service guarantees for the 2023 holiday season, it's a good idea to stay up to date with the status of all guarantees on the UPS website.
Currently, the Service Guarantee is in effect for select Air and International services but is otherwise suspended. Stay ahead of the curve with real-time shipment timelines at ups.com/ctc.
Need to rush a holiday shipment? Learn how expedited services for freight and next-day parcel shipping offer a quick solution for your even-quicker shipping needs.
Protection for Your Holiday Investments
While it’s a good idea to safeguard your investments at any time of year, the holiday season isn’t the time to skimp on protecting your shipments. We know you pack your holiday shipments with care but make sure to check out these additional ways you can gain peace of mind
Did you know? UPS now offers photo delivery on most shipments! Protect your bottom line and ensure a merry holiday for your customers by entering both a shipper and receiver email when booking UPS shipments. Your parcel’s driver will take a picture of the package upon delivery, helping you and your customers rest easy this holiday season.
Small Package Shipping Protection FAQs
Why You Need Parcel Shipping Protection
Why You Need Freight Shipping Protection
Freight Shipping Protection FAQs
Practical Tips for Holiday Parcel Shipping
From selecting the perfect packaging materials to planning for returns, holiday parcel shipping has enough ins and outs to make anyone feel a little bah-humbug! Luckily, we’ve prepared some tips to make a big impact on your small package shipping this holiday season.
Small Package Holiday Shipping Guide
Keep UPS Shipping Costs Down During Peak Season
Protect Your UPS Shipping During the Holidays
UPS Shipping: Perfecting Your Packaging
Helpful Resources for Year-End Freight Shipping
Even though we’re officially wrapping up this year, the 2023 holiday freight shipping season is just beginning! We know it’s been a challenging few years for freight shipping capacity, which is why we’ve compiled an array of freight resources to help you get you through peak season and a head start for 2024.