November 3, 2022
2022 Holiday International Shipping Deadlines: The Ultimate Guide
It’s the holiday season—and we all know what that means. Around the world, people of all cultures prepare to spend time with family, celebrate the season and exchange beautiful gifts.
But for many merchants, October and November mark the beginning of a holiday marathon—and we know how much stamina it takes to make it through the end stretch. With the 2022 holiday season upon us, let’s look at where challenges may arise in your shipping and supply chains and how to prepare yourself for a smooth season.
Supply Chain Issues and Impacts
2020 and 2021 saw supply chains hit hard by the crippling effects of COVID-19. Even though many areas and companies are currently moving out of their pandemic setbacks, there are numerous factors contributing to severe supply chain issues in 2022. As a result, merchants need to be prepared for shipping delays, advanced orders, and inventory management strategy changes.
Labor Protests and Wage Increases
As global inflation skyrockets, multiple countries and industries face increased pressure from unhappy workers. Many of these workers are embedded in the shipping industry, from truckers to dock workers. Without the necessary labor to facilitate shipping, many supply chains can expect significant delays.
FlavorCloud helps you automate multiple aspects of your shipping process so that you can focus on human problems when they pop up.
The increase in extreme weather events over the past several years isn’t new, but it is a growing problem for supply chains. The 2022 drought resulted in significantly lower water levels in many key trading countries. China, especially, is facing massive shipping logistics changes as the Yangtze River is now largely unusable for water shipments. Depending on where products are made, many merchants may have to make inventory decisions much earlier than usual.
FlavorCloud’s premium parcel and freight carriers deliver via the best routes, helping you track shipments alongside automated customs compliance, keeping you in-the-know in rain or snow.
What is the Latest Date I Can Ship DDP?
Below are the official international shipping DDP deadlines for Christmas and New Year’s Day shipping from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, China & India. But as we learned from the last few years, it’s always best to avoid waiting until the last second. Always encourage your consumers to purchase early and select the fastest shipping options during the holiday period.
Additionally, we highly recommend during holiday, you use DDP over DDU shipping for faster arrivals. DDU shipments take longer to clear customs and require more diligence on your end when it comes to compliance. FlavorCloud uses guaranteed DDP and handles compliance on the backend, so there are no unexpected costs or delays.
Global on-time shipping may not be a 100% guarantee, especially as we get down to the wire. But by encouraging earlier purchase dates, you can minimize shipping delays.
How do I Prepare?
With so many unknowns in the shipping industry, gathering as much information as possible is the best way to prepare for the holiday season.
Forecast demand and stock inventory
The ecommerce boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the Census Bureau recently found that ecommerce sales are already up by an average of 7% from 2021. Ecommerce sales in 2022 also account for a higher percentage of total global sales than in previous years.
If your company struggled to meet demand in 2021, it will only be that much more challenging in the coming months—unless you do your due diligence.
Get ready for the holiday season by:
- Analyzing your orders from 2021 and preparing to increase them by at least 10%.
- Understanding your FlavorCloud shipping deadlines and bumping them up by at least three business days to accommodate delays.
- Contacting your suppliers and ensuring your inventory is on track for full capacity fulfillment.
It’s also worth noting that an average of 30% of ecommerce products are currently returned to merchants as of August 2022. Factoring that 30% into your inventory planning and budgeting will spare you headaches down the line.
FlavorCloud offers seamless international returns!
Optimize your delivery options and cart experience
With over half of all consumers preferring ecommerce over physical purchasing, one of the smartest moves you can make to elevate your customer experience is to simplify and optimize your delivery offerings.
Consumers don’t want to worry about hidden fees or complicated shipping when they reach cart check-out. Streamline your customers’ experience by:
- Using your FlavorCloud setup to offer flexible shipping options that allow consumers to choose the best shipping option for their needs.
- Emphasizing the address verification system to mediate risk against lost or delayed packages.
- Disclosing all tax and duty fees—even if you or your carrier pays them.
- Sending automated tracking emails to your end-customers.
Even before widespread supply chain issues, shipping was never an exact science. No consumer wants to hear that ‘mistakes happen,’ so when they do, it’s imperative that you’re prepared. The first step in communication should always be a shipping disclaimer.
Your consumers need to know that:
- You will do everything in your power to meet expected shipping estimates, but they are estimates.
- The earlier they order, the better their experience will be.
- Due to supply chain issues, extreme weather upticks, and limited postal services, you may not be able to guarantee last-minute orders before Christmas.
Be sure to share your contact information and support channels upfront in case of questions or delays. You should also be transparent about any days/times you are closed for business during the holiday season.
Consumers may not want to consider logistics when it comes to holiday shopping, but the more you can make them aware of the situation, the more prepared everyone will be if problems arise.
Use your resources
You can’t control blizzards or broken supply chains, but you can utilize every resource at your disposal to make sure everything on your end runs smoothly.
Contact FlavorCloud for one-stop-shop international shipping software. With over 200 countries and 300 carriers, every brand can celebrate the holidays as a global brand. Happy holidays!
Head of Content & PR at FlavorCloud, with a passion for combining creativity and data. Please get in touch with any PR requests, relevant guest post pitches, and collaboration ideas at trilby.rajna[at]favorcloud[dot]com.