It's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you're dependent on carriers like FedEx, UPS, or USPS to deliver your printing supplies. It doesn't matter who your supplier is, the shipping network has been over capacity with COVID related delays even before the holiday shopping season kicks off in a few weeks. People are shopping online more than ever with no signs of slowing.
We reported in September that FedEx and UPS suspended service guarantees back in March 2020 due to COVID. This meant a package that normally would take two business days to reach your location could take much longer. You can read our article "FedEx and UPS Suspends Service Guarantees" for more detailed information by clicking on this link.
Even the behemoth known as Amazon is still having capacity issues. Remember when Prime meant two day shipping? Many of our own employees can't remember the last time they received an Amazon order in under two days. We've even received packages over the FedEx and UPS network where orders where traditionally transported completely over Amazon's own network.
We don't ship any orders over the US Postal Service, but it's important to also mention them in this post. The USPS continues to have delivery issues getting packages to customers on time. This has caused many small businesses, whom heavily rely on USPS, to move all their shipments over to FedEx or UPS. This adds to the over capacity issues already impacting FedEx and UPS.
We reached out to our FedEx and UPS Account Managers to get a better feel for what the current capacity issues were and if they were ready for the holidays. The same story was echoed by both carriers: "It's going to get worse!".
So what does this mean for you? We highly recommend customers take inventory now and make sure they have enough printing supplies to make it through the new year. With shipping carrier service guarantees still suspended through the holiday season, there is no guarantee that even an expedited overnight shipment will arrive the next day no matter who your supplier is. It's important to note since shipping carriers are not providing money back guarantees for late shipments that we are unable to refund any expedited shipping charges.
We'll all get through this with a little advanced planning. Whether it's toner or other consumable service parts, we recommend customers order supplies before Thanksgiving week to beat the official kick off of holiday online shopping. "It's going to get worse" once everyone starts ordering on the most popular online shopping weekend and throughout the holiday season. We must also not forget what Mother Nature is going to throw at us this winter.
Rest assured, we're still shipping within 24 hours of receipt of the order. We are closely tracking outbound shipments, but even the shipping carriers have made it difficult for businesses to track down delayed shipments. At the time of writing this post (11/9/2020), FedEx has delivered the vast majority of our shipments by their commitment transit times.
We appreciate your understanding during this holiday season.