Transportation TL;DR November 2021 

Monthly updates in transportation, including carrier changes, freight news (both LTL and small parcel), plus international shipping and trade compliance regulations. 

The holidays are here, and online shopping has begun ramping up. Many retailers have started their sales early this year in anticipation of higher-than-ever-before order volume. Carriers have continued to add peak season charges and fuel rate increases this year. Shippers should be prepared for delays and higher costs. Below are the transportation updates shippers should be aware of going into the busiest season of the year.  

Will Transit Times Slow Down This Season? 

Carriers have been impacted by the surge in ecommerce growth and subsequent increase in small package shipments since Q1 of 2020.  

As order volume begins to rise for this year’s holiday shipping season, carrier transit times (both projected and actual) are projected to slow down.  

Read the 2021 Carrier Transit Time Tracker for an overview of how each carrier and service has seen a fair amount of fluctuation this year. Check the post for updates throughout Q4. 

Holiday Shipping Deadlines  

Everyone wants to make sure their packages arrive on time during the holiday season. Each carrier service lists specific dates that packages need to be shipped in order to meet this important deadline.  

 

Insider Tip:

Know your carrier’s last days to ship for Christmas deliveries. Create a cushion and communicate the deadlines very clearly to your customers. 

Here is a brief list of holiday shipping deadlines for the major domestic services:  

UPS  

  • 3 Day Select: December 21 
  • 2nd Day Air (including 2nd Day Air AM): December 22 
  • Next Day Air (including Next Day Air Early & Next Day Air Saver): December 23 

FedEx 

  • Ground Economy (formerly SmartPost): December 9 
  • 2-Day: December 22 
  • Same-Day: December 24  

USPS  

  • First Class Package: December 17 
  • Priority Mail: December 18 
  • Priority Mail Express: December 23 

Read our full list of domestic and international shipping deadlines to ensure packages get to your customers by or before Christmas.  

Q4 Major Shipping News  

11/15/2021 FedEx Oversize Surcharge Increase – starting November 15, 2021 items 525 Over Length and items 530 Extreme Length will incur an additional surcharge.

11/10/21 USPS New Increased Rates 2022 – taking effect January 9, 2022, ecommerce shippers will see rates increase an average of 7.5% for First Class Mail and 5.5% for Priority Mail (1-5 lbs). Read the announcement 

11/1/21 – UPS Nixes Service Guarantees – all service guarantees for the remainder of this year have been suspended, with no specific end date. Read the announcement 

11/1/21 – UPS Raises Fuel Surcharge, Again –  domestic air and ground fuel surcharge levels will rise by 1% starting on November 15. Read the announcement 

11/1/21 – FedEx Suspends Money Back Guarantee Service – there will be no money-back guarantee for many major services. The suspension ends Jan 16, 2022. Read the announcement. 

10/1/21 – USPS First Class Mail Estimates 5-Day Deliveries – the Postal Service has announced slowed first-class mail during the peak season. The standard three-day delivery estimate might look more like five-day delivery. Read the announcement 

Check back here to see any major shipping news this quarter.  

New 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.

Shipping Carrier Peak Season Surcharges 

We are deep in the season of peak season shipping charges. Some carriers have increased shipping charges for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Be sure you know if your shipping services will be affected.  

Read our interactive chart of active and upcoming peak season surcharges.   

 

If you are looking for fulfillment support, or need an expert to help guide your transportation strategy, reach out to get a quote. The DCL Logistics Transportation and Compliance team has decades of experience and expertise in all aspects of domestic and international logistics.