Your 2016 holiday ship-by dates

Your 2016 holiday ship-by datesBig thanks to ShipStation for this helpful graphic

Can you believe it’s that time of the year already? Thanksgiving and Black Friday are a month away and Christmas is here in under two months. It’s practically 2017!

But wait. Pump the brakes. Hold your horses. Put the bunny back in the box. Before we get to all that, there’s a lot of shipping that needs to happen. The one-two punch of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Christmas looming on the horizon means business is about to pick up.

Our friends at ShipStation want you prepared right now. So for all our U.S.-based sellers, they’ve collected the holiday ship by dates for UPS, FedEx, and USPS—in one convenient, easy-to-read infographic. Share it with your fellow entrepreneurs, print it out and pin it in your warehouse, or bookmark it.

This year, ShipStation has made the infographic the perfect fit for a standard laser printer, at 8.5 x 11. Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF version. You can also save this as a desktop background and always have it available.

If you plan on using USPS services this year, get ahead of the game and order your supplies now. For ginormous orders, call (800) 610-8734. You can also use that number to set-up standing monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly orders so you don’t have to use USPS.com or drop in to the post office. Of course, these aren’t the only dates that matter.

APO/FPO/DPO & US TO INTERNATIONAL
If you ship to or from military addresses or internationally in general, Stamps.com collected the recommended ship by dates directly from USPS. Click here to see those dates.

CANADA
For our Canadian users, see Canada Post’s suggested ship by dates by clicking here.

AUSTRALIA
If you’re in Australia, shipping with Australia Post, check out their standard delivery timetables using their Parcel Post service by clicking here.

If you’re intersted in streamlining your holiday sales workflows even more, check out Unify for ShipStation. Happy selling!

USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase Starting January 17, 2016

Guest blog post courtesy of Endicia

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a postage rate increase for select mail classes and services in 2016, pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  If approved by the PRC, the new postage rates will start on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  Below are some highlights on the upcoming rate changes:

Priority Mail Express

The Priority Mail Express service will see an average increase of 15.6% in postage rates next year.  2016 Commercial Base rates for your Priority Mail Express packages will increase across the board, with the exception of packages weighing less than 0.5 lbs being shipped to Zones 5, 6 and 7. Continue reading

3 Tips for Smooth Shipping This Holiday Season

Only you can prevent logistical headaches for your business. Getting your mind around three essential holiday shipping strategies can help keep the migraine medicine in the closet where it belongs.

1. Know your deadlines
When your customers place their holiday orders, they’re expecting to play Santa and get them under the tree before Christmas morning. Make sure you know your shipping carriers’ holiday schedules and deadlines, and set expectations with your customers around those dates, or risk ending up on the naughty list. Continue reading

Three Important Tips for International Shipping

Three Important Tips for International ShippingStamps.com recently released a great Complete Guide to USPS International Shipping infographic, that includes tips for international shipping, shipping carrier cost comparisons, eBay’s top categories for international sales, and much more. Click on the graphic at left for the complete infographic. Learn how to ship your USPS packages to international customers and expand your business globally by tapping into the growing demand for American-made products. Continue reading

Get Your Ship Together for the Holidays

Get Your Ship Together for the HolidaysIt’s that time of year—thank goodness, holiday sales are starting to roll in. But processing those orders is just part of the challenge of getting the products out the door and safely into the hands of customers. Fortunately we’re besties with the folks at UPS who have clued us in on some tips and tricks. For starters, Kyle Blakey, Packaging Engineering Supervisor for UPS Customer Solutions, recommends considering the item’s materials, size, shape, fragility, and ability to handle impact. Also keep in mind that your package may go in planes, trains, (trucks, ships), and automobiles, and is likely to be handled by dozens of people. It will likely be subjected to shock, vibration, compression, impact, temperature variation, and changes in orientation. These variables mean that you need to pick the proper packaging in order to get your products to their destination, in the shape they were intended. Fortunately Kyle has suggested key elements to consider when setting up your holiday shipping. Continue reading