Peak Shipping Season 2024 – How to Prepare Your Business

Businesses need to prepare for increased strains on their supply chain during the peak season. Read our expert tips to help you prepare for peak shipping season to keep your customer happy with on-time deliveries.

Peak Shipping Season 2024 – How to Prepare Your Business

Posted by Tania

Are you prepared to thrive during the peak shipping season of 2024? As the holiday retail season approaches, ensuring the smooth operation of your delivery services is paramount. This period, which spans from September to the end of December, presents a remarkable sales opportunity for businesses. To help you make the most of it, we’ve gathered expert insights and strategies to succeed during the upcoming peak shipping season.

Understanding the Significance of Peak Shipping Season

The peak shipping season is characterized by a surge in shipment volumes that major carriers like Purolator, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canpar and GLS handle. This spike occurs notably before and during the holiday season, spanning from September to December. With increased carrier demand, businesses often encounter unavoidable delays and additional charges during this time. Special handling fees, for instance, are escalated, and delivery guarantees may be suspended.

Key Strategies to Thrive During Peak Shipping Season

1. Plan Ahead for Success

The cornerstone of navigating the peak shipping season successfully is meticulous planning. Don’t wait until the last minute to ship your products, especially if you’re targeting some of the major shopping events like Canadian Thanksgiving, Halloween, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, Christmas, and Boxing Week. These are the times when shipping volumes are at their highest, and couriers are stretched to their limits. To avoid delays and disappointments, ship early ad offer several shipping options to your customers.

2. Offer Expedited Shipping Options

To cater to last-minute orders, consider providing expedited shipping choices. These options, such as Expedited or Express Services, guarantee next-day delivery for time-sensitive orders. Utilizing the FlagShip shipping system, you can effortlessly access various service options with corresponding pricing, tracking updates, and more. A bonus tip: Consider offering free expedited shipping for orders exceeding a certain spending threshold.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Courier Holidays

Be well-informed about courier holidays to anticipate potential service disruptions.  Not all couriers operate on the same schedule, and some may have limited or no service on certain days. For example, Canada Post does not deliver on statutory holidays like Remembrance Day and Christmas Day. To avoid confusion and frustration, check the courier holiday schedules before you ship and inform your customers accordingly. The FlagShip team recommends referencing our detailed courier holiday schedule on our website. This knowledge will enable you to adjust your shipping plans accordingly and ensure on-time deliveries.

4. Optimize Pickup Scheduling

Given the possibility of couriers facing overload or unfavorable weather conditions, scheduling pickups earlier in the day is prudent. To accommodate potential delays, consider offering a reasonable pickup window spanning several hours. Remember, pickups are typically conducted in the afternoon, so a morning-only window might not align with reality.

5. Prepare Documentation

To ensure a smooth shipping process, make sure you have all the necessary documentation ready before you ship. This includes invoices, customs forms, packing slips, and labels. You can use our FlagShip platform to generate and print all these documents in a few clicks. You can also access our helpful guides and resources to learn more about shipping regulations and requirements. For international shipments, having accurate documentation is crucial. Ensure you possess the necessary paperwork, including completed commercial invoices. Additionally, verify that your suppliers possess CUSMA Certification to avoid unnecessary duties and streamline border processes. Make arrangements for brokerage to circumvent border-related delays.

6. Comply with Courier Regulations

Depending on where you’re shipping to and what you’re shipping, you may need to follow certain rules and regulations. For example, if you’re shipping internationally, you may need to pay duties and taxes, declare the value and contents of your shipment, and provide proof of origin. To avoid delays and penalties, make sure you comply with all the relevant regulations and use our FlagShip platform to get accurate quotes and information. Also different couriers maintain their lists of prohibited items, ensure the items you’re shipping adhere to guidelines set by carriers like Purolator, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canpar, and GLS. If you’re uncertain about an item’s eligibility for shipping, our dedicated customer service team is ready to assist you.

With these tips, in mind, you’re ready to tackle the peak shipping season with confidence and ease. And if you need any assistance or advice along the way, we’re here for you. Just sign up for a free FlagShip account today and enjoy our user-friendly platform that lets you shop for shipping rates, book, track, and manage all your shipments in one place while getting up to 70% off regular shipping cost. You’ll also get access to our dedicated customer support team who will answer your questions and help you solve any issues.

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Key Retailer Shopping Events in 2024

Here are significant retailer shopping events to keep in mind as you gear up for peak shipping season:

  • Canadian Thanksgiving – October 14
  • Halloween – October 31
  • U.S. Thanksgiving – November 28
  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday – November 29 to December 2
  • Super Saturday – December 21
  • Christmas – December 25
  • Boxing Week – December 26 to December 31


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