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As the holiday season approaches, you'll need to plan for increased mail and shipping volume.

If you're in a time-critical business that never shuts down, you really need to know your options for shipping during busy times of the year--like the holiday season. Both you and your customers need to be able to plan ahead for holiday shutdowns and slowdowns.

This year, Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Sundays, so most shippers will be closed both then and on the following weekday. You will still have options, but you and your customers should expect premium freight charges.

For the smoothest experience, build connections. Meet with your shipping companies' reps as soon as possible. Make sure sales reps, order processing employees, plant schedulers and production and warehouse supervisors are confident about what promises they can make and keep for your customers. And check for new apps for smartphones and tablets, so you can track critical shipments no matter where you are.

Then, keep in mind the standard guidelines provided by the major mailing and shipping companies:

  • The U.S. Postal Service recommends speaking with your local postmaster and regional sorting facility manager to find out precisely when both local and national shipping are busiest during December. You may want to upgrade critical parcel post packages--which normally take about eight days to reach their destinations--to Priority or Express Mail in December to ensure they reach customers on time.
  • FedEx deadlines are earlier than those at the post office this year, even for express packages, since the last weekday before Christmas is Dec. 23. So unless you're planning to use same-day service, which is available every day including Christmas, plan to ship no later than Dec. 21 or 22 (overnight) to avoid delays.
  • UPS offers an intermediate option, in that you can ship as late as Dec. 22 or 23 (overnight) as long as the shipment is processed and labeled for Saturday delivery.

 


The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.