GrandCanals Data Scientists Analyze Carrier Holiday Ship-By Dates – And the Results Might Surprise You

Holiday Ship-By Dates

GrandCanals Data Scientists Analyze Carrier Holiday Ship-By Dates – And the Results Might Surprise You

There is one question that many people, mostly parents, will be asking themselves as they shop online this holiday season:

“Am I going to receive this order before Christmas?”

And shippers will have to answer that question many times throughout the eCommerce customer journey, starting by clearly displaying delivery dates on their eCommerce website and continuing to update customers even after the order has been shipped. If this critical shipping deadline is at all unclear, retailers and eTailers won’t get the sale, as shoppers may even pay more for their gifts at other websites to be absolutely certain to make their loved ones happy.

To properly set customer expectations shippers first have to understand the holiday ship-by date from their carriers. These ship-by dates are published yearly by major carriers with the goal of detailing, by service type (e.g., Express or Ground), when companies should ship packages to ensure arrival on or before December 25th.

But how does reality match the published date by the carriers and how should shippers prepare for 2018? Those are the questions our data scientists wanted to answer.

To better understand when shippers should send their packages during this holiday season, our data scientists first analyzed the accuracy of FedEx’s 2017 holiday ship-by dates.

The results might surprise you. For example, our data scientists found that the FedEx ship-by date of Dec. 21st for 1-day Express shipping was too late. Shippers should have shipped via 1-day Express service on or before December 20 to reach their consumers by Christmas with 95% reliability, meaning that 95% of the packages were successfully delivered on or before Christmas. In contrast, the FedEx ship-by dates for Ground shipping were conservative, meaning shippers could have shipped their packages later to still achieve a 95% on-time success rate.

Then, our data scientists built several models to better predict 2018 holiday ship-by dates and launched an AI-powered website at where shippers can view our ship-by predictions for this holiday season, updated nightly and compared to FedEx and UPS published dates. These predictions are determined by artificial intelligence and consider both historical and current shipping trends across the GrandCanals Delivery Performance tracking network.

We hope you find last year’s 2017 holiday ship-by date analysis and AI-powered website helpful this holiday season. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but only if your customers get their packages on time this holiday season.