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Work Closer with your Carrier to Avoid Holiday Shipping Issues.

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When it comes to holiday shopping, last-minute free shipping can be a saving grace for the procrastinator. Burned by missed Christmas deliveries last year, more stores plan to make you order early.

Of the 92.3 percent of retailers polled who plan to offer free-standard shipping of some sort this holiday season, nearly 70 percent say their guarantee for Christmas delivery will expire on or before Friday, Dec. 19. If you really procrastinate, there are still options — but they’ll cost you.

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 A new survey shows nearly eight in 10 retailers are moving up their guaranteed shipping deadlines, expiring a week before Christmas. That’s up from just over seven in 10 last year, according to a survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

Last holiday season, some stores that offered free delivery just a few days before Christmas ended up disappointing customers. Bad weather and poor planning meant presents didn’t make it under the tree. With the shortened time frame to ship, retail experts say online sales could soar earlier, and more people may choose to stick to in-store shopping.

In order to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 2013 holiday season, retailers attending IRCE 2014 were told to be more proactive in communicating with carriers, start planning now, spread shipments around to multiple carriers and have contingency plans in place.

Leveraging data analytics to forecast holiday shipping volumes, and then sharing those findings with carriers upfront,will make a big difference in avoiding holiday shipping snafus this season. Call UDS for your holiday overflow this year. 630.930.5201 http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com//

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