2021 Shipping News and Carrier Transit Times [+Chart]

Carriers have been impacted by the surge in ecommerce growth and subsequent increase in small package shipments. Delivery times have varied throughout this year, sometimes two or three days outside of the estimated delivery time.

This article provides both: a carrier transit time tracker (both projected and actual) as averaged by month, by carrier, and by service type, throughout this year; and real-time updated shipping news (including fuel charge increases, holiday service predictions, and more).

Peak Surcharge Chart

For a chart of active and upcoming peak season surcharges, see our interactive Carrier Peak Season Surcharge Chart.

đź“Š Carrier Transit Times Chart

Below is an overview of the average transit times for each of the major domestic carriers. These numbers are an estimate taken as an average from our many facilities.

📦 Shipping News & Carrier Updates

Below is a list of carrier updates and shipping news relating to the major domestic shipping carriers. Find each update in chronological order under each carrier subheading.


FedEx CEO Says Company will Make Holiday Deliveries

November 7, 2021

FedEx CEO said that they will be able to make holiday deliveries on time if they can hire enough employees to do so.

“We’re ready, assuming that we can get the employees,” Smith said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “The lack of employees, particularly since last spring and into the summer, partially because of the Delta variant and partially because of the stimulus which hit right before the Delta variant took hold of a lot of the country, created a lot of employment issues.”

Money Back Guarantee Service Suspended

November 1, 2021

FedEx is suspending it’s money-back guarantee for many of its major services. The suspension will end Jan 16, 2022. As noted in their announcement, the affected services include:

  • FedEx First Overnight®
  • FedEx Priority Overnight®
  • FedEx Standard Overnight®
  • FedEx First Overnight Extra Hours*
  • FedEx Priority Overnight Extra Hours*
  • FedEx Standard Overnight Extra Hours*
  • FedEx International First®
  • FedEx International Priority®
  • FedEx International Priority® Freight

FedEx Improves Ground Capabilities

October 2021

FedEx has announced it’s shipping deadlines for the holidays season and they are virtually the same as 2020, despite having delay issues last year. On an earnings call, FedEx said its ground capabilities would be significantly improved from 2020 due to investments in infrastructure.

It’s advised to send packages no later than December 15 if using FedEx Ground and December 22 if using FedEx 2-Day.

Comparing Small Parcel Services

If you’re looking for a comprehensive comparison chart between UPS Surepost, FedEx Ground Economy, and DHL eCommerce services, read UPS, FedEx, and DHL: How to Choose the Best Domestic Shipping Option for Small Parcel.


UPS Nixes Service Guarantees

November 3rd, 2021

Similarly UPS is holding the same holiday shipping deadlines as 2020: advising sending packages within the US by December 21 if using 3 Day Select, and December 23 if sent by UPS Next Day Air.

UPS has suspended all service guarantees for the remainder of this year, with no specific end date.

UPS Stock Hit Record as Revenue and Profit Exceed Expectations

October 26, 2021

Shares of UPS soared to a record close, after the they reported third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations, as a 12% rise in revenue per piece helped drive the U.S. Domestic business to top forecasts. While revenue rose, package volume declined by 3.4% during the quarter.

UPS also announced they will implement a general rate increase of 5.9% to provide a cushion for rising inflation and labor rates. The rate increase is in-line with subsequent annual increases.


13.2 Billion Mailpieces and Packages During Holidays

The Postal Service made headlines when then published reports of their recent holiday numbers, quoting an average delivery time of less than three days overall. 13.2 Billion pieces of mail and packages passed through the hands of USPS during the 2021 holiday season, exceeding the 12.7 billion that were counted during the 2020 holiday season.

Read the full announcement.

2022 Rate Increases + Two New Mail Products

Taking effect January 9, 2022, the United States Postal Service rates will increase an average of 7.5% for First Class Mail and 5.5% for Priority Mail (1-5 lbs). Shipping Services price adjustments vary by product.

Secondarily, USPS is introducing two new mail products focused on local communities.

  • Plus One. This is intended for businesses to reach local customers utilizing mail.

  • Connect Local Mail. This allows documents to be sent locally for same- or next-day delivery.

For a list of USPS product price increases read the full announcement.

USPS Puts Reliability Above Speed 

October, 1 2021

The Postal Service has announced they will have slowed first-class mail during the peak season. Starting October 1, 2021 USPS’ standard three-day delivery estimate for first-class mail (holiday cards!) might look more like five-day delivery. Small parcel is projected to be at four- to -five day delivery.

For the upcoming peak season the Postal Service is committed to using fewer airplanes, but more trucks, which means they can transport a higher volume of mail for less money, with a higher degree of accuracy.

Big Delays at the Postal Service

May 2021

USPS had a very bumpy 2020. In Q1 of this year USPS reported ~20% of first-class mail was delivered late.

These delays and cost increases are all part of a long-term cost-savings plan for The Service.


DHL Post Record Quarter

November 4, 2021

Deutsche Post DHL posted very strong third-quarter results on November 4th, 2021 with revenue up 23.5% to $23.1 billion, operating profit up 28.6% to nearly $2.1 billion and operating margins increasing to 8.8% from 8.5%.


2022 Updated Tariff Schedule

Ecommerce merchants importing or exporting goods internationally should be aware that the HS codes will be changing beginning January 1, 2022.   

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (usually referred to as Harmonized System, HS, or HTS), established by the World Customs Organization (WCO), is a standardized system of tariff schedules for 211 countries across the globe. Every five years the WCO reviews the HS to ensure new technologies are appropriately categorized and any global trade changes are accommodated.

The WCO must adapt any new or updated good and materials within the HS. This includes goods like new technologies (drones, vapes, electric vehicles), medical substances (new drugs, clinical research), as well as any items that may contribute to global issues (chemical weapons, bio material being used to test for viruses), and more.

Read the WCO’s full announcement.