It’s that time of year again when sales are really starting to pick up!
It’s also the time of year when EMS routes can get clogged-up and have delays.
Today we received the following notification from EMS that they are anticipating delays due to the challenges created by the continued spread of COVID-19 in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and other highly affected areas.
The official statement from EMS can be found here: https://my.ems.com.cn/pcp-web/f/pcp/indexController/tonoticeindex?ntificationId=4e601e2dc60f4c6cc633fb65c93f247d
How long will the delays be?
EMS does not specify any time frames regarding deliveries other than the fact that they are anticipating delays. We want to pass this information to you as soon as possible so you can make the best decision for your business on how to proceed with setting customer expectations and choosing the best type of shipping for your orders.
As stated in the Pillow Profits Policy:
Delivery time guarantees for orders placed during the months of November and December will only apply to orders using Express Line Shipping products. All other orders placed with standard shipping will not be eligible for replacement or refund until 60 days has elapsed. We encourage all sellers to switch to Express Line Shipping to avoid costly delays during the Holidays.
Although many products do make it to customer in time for the Holiday’s using the standard shipping method, there are typically excessive delays on a percentage of packages every year. With the added challenge of COVID-19 in 2020 there may be significant delays on a higher percentage of packages than a typical year.
To avoid the risk of dealing with upset customers, it’s best to switch your products and orders to express shipping and put a disclaimer on your site stating “If you don’t upgrade to express shipping, your packages may not arrive in time for the Holidays.”
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of updating all your products with the express line builder, the other option is to charge your customers increased shipping rates on checkout, and then manually upgrade their orders to express shipping inside the Pillow Profits admin.
Currently our production times are excellent (5-7 days) and EMS shipping is performing well (10-20 days on average). However, if you continue to use the standard shipping throughout the months of November and December, please do so at your own risk and understand that some of the packages will get stuck during the busiest time of the year and may take up to 60 days to get to your customers.
From our experience over the past four years, Express Shipping can become delayed, however the delays are nowhere near as bad as standard EMS and we still guarantee 30 days delivery with our express line option during the holidays. Currently express shipping is taking 6-12 days and is performing well.
Our Christmas cut-off date for using Express Line shipping will be November 20th , 2020 – make sure your orders are processed in by midnight on November 20th, 2020 to ensure the factory has enough time to produce and ship your products in time for Christmas.
One final and **VERY IMPORTANT** note to make about using our express line delivery:
Make sure you collect your customer’s phone number if using express shipping! This greatly increases the odds of successful delivery so the couriers can communicate with your customers, and also assists in clearing customs in some European nations which require the customer’s phone number.
Also please note that express courtiers will not deliver to PO Boxes so make sure your customers are providing a residential or non PO box address on checkout. to ensure delivery.
You can configure your checkout on Shopify to require a phone number by going to Settings –> Checkout –> Form Options –> Shipping address phone number –> Required.
Hong Kong, Taiwan and Brazil require the recipient’s phone number as well as ID/Tax ID number for successful delivery.
Best of luck selling from the Pillow Profits Team!