Simple ways retailers can boost holiday productivity

Organize an efficient and stress-free peak-season shipping operation.

During the holidays, there is a surge of retail activity. These strategies will help you prepare for this peak shipping season and keep customers happy.

Packaging Orders More Efficiently

When processing your customers’ orders, consider the container you’ll be using, and pack your products in a cost-effective way. Follow these simple tips to help reduce claims and increase profits:

1. Use the right container. If your customer’s order requires a box, select one large and strong enough to protect the contents when surrounded by at least 2 inches of cushioning.

2. Less is more. Using too much packing material adds expense and can even lead to damage. If the packing material is spilling out or the sides of the box are puffing, it’s overpacked.

3. Avoid toxic surprises. Some common retail items are considered hazardous and legally require special arrangements and packaging to be shipped. Check your products’ status before you package them for your customers.

4. Separate multiple items. When your customers purchase multiple items, include all the items in one box. You can reduce the risk of damage by wrapping the items individually.

5. When in doubt, ask an expert. Work with an experienced shipping provider to get step-by-step packaging instructions, recommendations on containers, and packing material options.

Delivering Products on Time

Help your customers receive their orders on time by paying attention to your carrier’s holiday schedule. During the peak shipping season, UPS makes every effort to deliver on the usual schedule, so keep track of the important shipping dates.

Friday, Dec. 18 – Normal pickup and delivery service.

Monday, Dec. 21UPS 2nd Day Air® packages picked up today will be delivered by Dec. 24.

Tuesday, Dec. 22 – This is the last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air packages in time for Christmas (delivered on Thursday, Dec. 24).

Wednesday, Dec. 23 – Normal pickup and delivery service. This is the last day to ship all UPS Next Day Air packages in time for Christmas Day (delivery on Thursday, Dec. 24).

Thursday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve – Normal delivery of air, international, and ground shipments. Pickup service available for Air and international Air packages* if prearranged by Wednesday, Dec. 23. UPS On-Call Pickup service and UPS Drop Boxes are available to all customers for Air and international Air packages. No UPS Ground, UPS 3 Day Select or UPS Standard pickups until Monday, Dec. 28.

Friday, Dec. 25, Christmas – No UPS pickup or delivery service.

(UPS Express Critical® service is available for urgent packages.)

Use resources like the UPS Calculate Time and Cost tool to help your customers determine time in transit.