2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Christmas gifts ready for holiday shipping.

For merchants and customers, one of the major concerns ahead of Christmas and the festive season is holiday shipping. In particular, deadlines are important because they are the last possible cutoff dates for shipping orders to arrive in time for Christmas day. Many shoppers place orders for last-minute gifts and want to know they'll be delivered ahead of the big day.

Ecommerce retailers need to prepare for the holiday rush by knowing the last possible ship-by date to ensure that these last-minute orders are received in good time. It's also essential to make sure customers know your holiday shipping deadlines so that they're confident about placing an order for on-time delivery and won't have to return it because it arrived too late. Here’s what you need to know about holiday shipping.

Timing considerations for the 2021 holiday period

In 2021, the pre-holiday rush is going to look a little different for merchants and customers. Although the volume of packages being shipped causes delays each year, the issue has been further complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many countries are still experiencing delays in postal and courier services. Singapore Post delivery timings for international shipments can be delayed by up to 20 days. In addition, the company’s services to many countries are currently suspended or limited.

Merchants should also ensure that their inventory is ready for the Christmas rush. Global supply chains are currently facing significant disruptions and could make it difficult for retailers to have enough stock for holiday shipping.

Tips for Acing Holiday Shipping

As well as figuring out the appropriate shipping deadlines for Christmas, merchants need to prepare for the holidays in other ways. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips to help you get through the busy season.

  • Try and predict demand by going over last year’s holiday season data
  • Check your inventory
  • Streamline your fulfillment process
  • Get your shipping in order – automation can be useful
  • Set a process for handling returns
  • Create holiday shipping offers for early birds
  • Make sure your customers understand ship-by dates

Woman holding gift that arrived with holiday shipping.

International Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Singapore Post delivery timings for international shipments are being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and this is expected to continue during the holiday shipping period. Singaporean merchants shipping to customers overseas should bear these delays in mind.

Below, you’ll find which SingPost services are available for popular markets. Retailers should expect delays of up to ten days for Available services and longer for Limited Services. Try to set an internal shipping cutoff in early December to ensure international customers receive their orders in time.

Country

Mail

Speedpost Priority

Speedpost Express

Speedpost Economy

Australia

Limited

Limited

Limited

Limited

EU Countries

Limited 

Limited

Limited

Limited

Canada

Limited

Limited

Available

Limited

China

Available

Available

Available

Available

India

Limited

Limited

Limited

Limited

Japan

Limited

Limited

Available

Available

Malaysia

Limited

Limited

Available

Available

Philippines

Limited

Limited

Limited

Limited

Thailand

Limited

Limited

Available

Limited

Vietnam

Limited

Limited

Available

Limited

UK

Limited

Limited

Available

Available

USA

Limited

Limited

Limited

Available

 Suggested SingPost shipping deadlines:

  • Basic Package International Air – November 15
  • Registered Package – November 15
  • Speedpost Express – December 5
  • Speedpost Priority – December 1
  • Speedpost Economy – not suggested due to lead times of 4-15 weeks.

If you know your customers are willing and able to pay for more expensive couriers, you could use international brands like DHL, UPS, or FedEx. Just be aware that these major couriers will not operate on December 25, the Christmas public holiday in Singapore. Additionally, many international couriers, including FedEx, will impose a peak surcharge for shipments leaving over the holidays.

Here are the critical holiday shipping deadlines for popular couriers.

  • J&T Express – December 17
  • Ninjavan Standard & Express – December 17
  • FedEx International First/Priority – December 17
  • FedEx International Economy – December 15
  • DHL – December 17 UPS – December 17
  • Aramex – December 17

Holiday deadlines for local deliveries

If you're a Singaporean merchant focusing on the local market, then the shipping deadlines for Christmas won't be as significant. That's because most local courier services will operate normally until just before the public holiday. And, with express service options that offer delivery within 60 minutes, you can assure local shoppers that even orders placed on December 23 or 24 can be delivered in time for Christmas.

However, the following couriers will not operate during the Christmas weekend.

  • December 24 (Christmas Eve) - Janio, Aramex, Pickupp, UrbanFox, MRight, Airpak
  • December 25(Christmas Day) - All couriers unavailable
  • December 26 (Boxing Day) - All, except Qxpress and Mystery Saver

The Singpost public holiday is only on December 25. So, if you plan to ship to local customers through Singapore Post, you will have lenient cutoff dates at affordable prices.

  • Basic Package – December 22
  • Registered Service – December 22
  • Tracked Package – December 22
  • Speedpost Express – December 24, within two hours
  • Speedpost Standard – December 23

Frequently asked questions about holiday shipping

Why are shipping deadlines for Christmas important?

Amidst the holiday rush, last-minute shoppers want to know that if they place an order with an ecommerce store, they will receive their purchases in time for gifting on Christmas Day. Merchants need to know—and make customers aware of—their shipping deadlines to meet expectations.

Are the deadlines different for international and local deliveries?

Yes. International deliveries will take longer because they have to travel further distances and go through customs. Major couriers like UPS are expensive but offer the fastest international deliveries over Christmas. If you use these services, you can probably set a holiday deadline for December 17. Singpost is much more affordable, but there may be significant delays, meaning your deadlines may have to be in mid-November or early December.

For local orders, though, Singaporean couriers like NinjaVan have very affordable and fast shipping services, so that you can offer December 23 or 24 as your cutoff date.

Should I ship with SingPost?

SingPost is an attractive shipping option for Singapore-based merchants. The postal service offers affordable, reliable deliveries within Singapore and overseas. Certainly, for new merchants with budget concerns or local orders, it’s a great option. However, especially during peak seasons, there can be delays with international shipments. To avoid this, you may need to set very early shipping deadlines or consider using more expensive courier services.

What else do I need to consider?

For the 2021 holidays, merchants will still be dealing with supply chain issues and shipping delays caused by the pandemic. As such, you'll need to set early holiday deadlines to avoid disappointing your customers. In addition, you should ensure your store is well set up for the holiday rush. That means ensuring your inventory, fulfillment methods, shipping, marketing, and customer service is primed.

‘Tis the season for holiday shipping

The festive season is one of the busiest times of the year for merchants and a chance to boost your profits before the end of the year. But to get the most out of the Christmas rush, you’ll need to ensure that your holiday shipping strategy is worked out in advance and that your customers are aware of your shipping deadlines for Christmas. Ace the holiday season with Shopify, where merchants can track their inventory, market their holiday offers, and create a smooth shipping experience with apps from the Shopify App Store that will handle shipping labels, rate calculations, packing slips, and more.

 

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