One of our most frequently asked questions would have to be: what’s your shipping process?
Closely followed by: when do I have to place my order if I need it by X date?
Whenever someone wants to create custom packaging, we always advise placing orders 3-4 months before you’ll need it – and with good reason!
Besides the fact that every component is custom-made to suit each user’s needs, we need to account for worldwide shipping, as well as delays with those shipments.
Before we get into special circumstances, it’s important to first know what happens during our usual shipping process.
We utilise two main shipping methods: air and vessel.
When shipping by sea vessel, the custom packaging products are prepared for transport and usually take 6 to 8 weeks to reach its final destination.
Alternatively, for an additional charge, customers can select air shipping which drastically reduces shipping times. Most customers are able to receive shipments in about 10 days – we would suggest this for customers on a time crunch.
Ideally, planning ahead is your best option in terms of cost, especially if you are placing a large order with many units. However, if you are in a pinch and need your packaging sooner rather than later, our production team will do their best to accommodate your order.
Once orders are checked for quality and accuracy, everything is processed and packed for transportation. After coordinating with our team, third party shipping companies will deliver the products to their destination country.
After everything is offloaded at the port, shipments are taken to local warehouses. Depending on the location of the warehouse, shipments are transported by rail or truck.
Once customer clearance and sorting is completed, orders are delivered to customers by local transport companies. At each stage, a team member will ensure that your shipment is on track to be delivered on time.
Furthermore, you will receive constant updates on each stage of your shipment, as well as a follow-up email and phone call to ensure you are satisfied with your final order.
So now that you know the steps we take to ensure your order arrives safely and properly intact, what are some potential delays we may face? And more importantly, how can we avoid these setbacks?
Some delay scenarios include, but are not limited to:
- customs clearance – will typically take 1-2 days, but under extenuating circumstances that may change. For example, if there is an abnormal amount of shipments when your order arrives, it may sit in customs for up to a week while shipments are being cleared.
- customs examinations – if customs officers decide to conduct an exam on your shipment, that can take even more time. Sometimes it will add an extra 2 or 3 weeks to your delivery date.
- worker strikes
- change of design – this one isn’t technically a shipping-related, but production. If a client requests a sample after placing the order, and then makes multiple changes, the original delivery date will be pushed back. This is because production will be stalled to accommodate for the changes to the product.
For delays related to customs or worker strikes, there isn’t really anything that we can do. However, we are hyper-vigilant about the location of your order, providing you with regular updates.
Of course, a 1- or 2-day holiday here and there won’t impact shipping a great deal. Holidays such as Canada Day (and other National days), Diwali, Labour Day, and others, will not significantly affect your delivery.
However, there are some key events that can delay your order by weeks if you don’t plan accordingly.
As mentioned before, we advise placing your order 3 to 4 months before you need your packaging units. In the table below, you’ll see how many weeks you should add to the original estimate to allow for factory and business closures.
|When Do You Need It?||How Many Weeks to Add?||Why?|
|January||4 to 6 weeks||Chinese Lunar New Year – majority of businesses shut down|
|February||4 to 6 weeks||Chinese Lunar New Year – majority of businesses shut down|
|October||1 week||Mid-Autumn Festival/Golden Week celebrations|
|December||2 weeks||Christmas/End of Year – more orders to fulfil and ship|
Why You May Need to Pad Your Order Time
January & February – Chinese Lunar New Year typically falls within January and February, but actually differs each year. On the eve of Chinese New Year, most workers start their vacation. Some even go back to their homes 2 or 3 weeks in advance in preparation of the holiday. During this period, production halts for 4 or 5 weeks to allow employees to take part in festivities and traditions, and to spend time with their families.
October – During the first week in October, shipping companies are likely to halt operations. Factories will continue production, but shipping businesses enjoy Golden Week celebrations (this holiday is similar to Canada Day or 4th of July, except it lasts a week).
December – Naturally, this is a busy time of year for factories with increased production and therefore more adjustments to be made. With a rise in orders, there is also a rise in errors in orders. Between samples needing to be redone, and orders being changed last-minute, there will be delays on the table. It’s always difficult to estimate dates during this hectic time, but we typically advise adding 1 week to production, and 1 week for shipping.
By adding these cushion periods to your order time, it will ensure that you don’t run out of your packaging inventory before your new units arrive.
How Can I Avoid A Packaging Shortage?
Two words: order early!
If you’re not sure when you’ll need your packaging units by, then contacting us as soon as possible is ideal. Our custom packaging specialists can help you calculate when you need to place your order and let you know about any potential delays for that time period.
But that’s not all we do! Don’t know much about packaging but want to create a custom experience? We can help with the following:
- unit calculations
- design creation
- material suggestions
We’re here to help and provide you with the best customer service for all your custom needs.