I won’t surprise you by saying that Coronavirus is now one of the most trending topics all around the world. Stay at home orders, economic crisis and changing shopping habits are just a small part of all the changes that come with it. As an online seller, you need to know how it will affect your business, especially how shipping options change during the current order to stay at home.
Stay at home order
Stay at home order means that you need to avoid leaving your home to limit yourself and others from spreading the virus as much as possible. This law doesn’t mean that you have to avoid outdoor activities (such as walking, hiking or running) entirely, but you have to maintain social distancing. You are allowed to travel to care for a person or pet in another household, to acquire material for remote learning, to see medical service providers, for acquiring meals or to get other life-sustaining materials.
Every day, more countries are putting the stay at home order in place to protect their residents from the spread of Coronavirus. According to CNN on Wednesday (2020-03-25) 17 states in the USA have issued this order, which means that more than 50% of the US population is urged to stay home. Most other world countries are doing the same, so most flights and other means of international travel are stopped or severely limited. What does this mean to e-commerce sellers? How did your shipping options change during the stay at home order?
What are the shipping options during stay at home order?
As mentioned in our previous article, a current situation is rapidly changing our shopping habits, and we can even call this period – the golden age of e-commerce times. Or at least a start of one. A lot of shipping management changes come along with the sudden increase in demand. That is why we prepared this short guide which explains the main changes in the policies of the most popular shipping companies.
According to USPS, there is no evidence that the virus is spreading through the mail, and the risk of catching it from a package is low. That is why shipping companies are still working. Also, they claim that there are no domestic air traffic capacity issues at this time.
If your business is closed during the stay at home period, your orders will be held for 10 days under current USPS shipping company policies, and if you request a temporary hold, it can be held up to 30 days.
Also, they temporarily modified customer capture procedures to comply with social distancing regulations. Couriers will only collect the customer’s initials and leave orders at a safe distance – in the mail receptacle or appropriate location by the client’s door.
DHL informs its customers that there might be some delays due to the current situation. Delays might occur mainly because of the changes in transport procedures (border control), international transport (cancelled flights) and quarantine in specific countries.
Also, the requirement for a recipient’s signature upon delivery is not necessary. You can refuse to do it, because of the pandemic.
There are some other restrictions on international shipments. For instance, parcel shipments from Germany cannot be sent to China, Hong Kong and Macao, some parts of Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic and Austria, as well as several other countries. That is why it is crucial to read their newest shipping companies policies before booking any shipments.
UPS claim that they continue to work as usual and deliver to locations around the world. Also, they encourage users to register for UPS My Choice for free to provide more specific delivery instructions and the ability to receive delivery notifications.
UPS inform that they are maintaining delivery services except where limited by government restrictions. UPS is working in partnership with governments around the world to continue work even in restricted areas. Here you can see the newest US state by state list and the global service list.
Royal Mail announces that it will continue to deliver orders, even though they are experiencing growing levels of employee absence due to self-isolation and illness.
They also waive the signature policy, and when the customer receives their order, couriers capture only the name of the person accepting the item. Additionally, if the parcel cannot fit in the letterbox, RoyalMail couriers will place it at the customer’s door.
All the items posted from March 19th, 2020 are not guaranteed to be delivered by 1 pm the next working day. Although Special Delivery parcels and letters are still a priority, might be delayed due to the Coronavirus crisis.
Deutsche Post say that there are no significant restrictions to their services in Germany. Also, they are trying to stop the spread of this virus so they cancelled the requirement for a recipient’s signature upon receipt of parcels and registered mail with personal delivery. Instead of that, couriers are documenting deliveries with their own signatures.
With international deliveries, there might be some delays or restrictions because of the current situation. For instance, parcel shipments from Germany cannot be sent to China, Hong Kong and Macao, some part of Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic and Austria, as well as multiple other countries.
According to the press release on March 23rd Canada Post continues to work during the pandemic, but they will reduce hours of service, by opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier. Also, for the first hour of each day, they will offer priority service to the people who are at a higher risk.
Canada Post is still accepting payments by cash, but they are encouraging customers to pay by using the “tap” function on their debit or credit cards. Also, they eliminated the need for signatures. They have implemented a “Knock, Drop and Go” approach to avoid spreading the virus.
myHermes provides the information that the virus doesn’t survive on non-metallic surfaces, so they continue to work. To minimise physical contact they encourage their customers to choose the preferred safe place for deliveries by following the Track & Divert link in the parcel notifications they have sent. They also dropped the requirement for recipient signatures and allow couriers to confirm receipt on behalf of the customer. It is possible only when the customer answers the door and gives permission to do so. If there is no answer, the parcel will be returned to myHermes depot and they will re-attempt delivery 3 times.
La Poste informs their customers that during a stay at home order, the couriers will work less regularly than usual. Also, there are some new restrictions on shipping destinations. Since March 20th, Collisimo is no longer able to take on packages on all destinations. Also, the transport and delivery of packages to some destinations are suspended. For instance, Tunisia, French Polynesia, Mongolia, The Philippines and others. Before sending international orders, customers must check the newest restrictions.
According to La Poste shipping company policies, packages that are already shipped but not yet delivered will be returned to senders. Also, there can be some delays due to border control and other security precautions.
Working with multiple shipping carriers?
Did you see your preferred shipping carrier on this list? Are you shipping with other well-known companies, such as ParcelForce, Parcel2Go, FedEx, Interlink express, UK mail or Australia Post? Then, there is a way to make your fulfilment process quicker. Even though during this period, your orders might not be delivered on time, there is no need to lose any extra time. Save your time by automating shipping management and reduce the time you spend on order fulfilment!
With our shipping management software, you can automatically sync all your order details and forget about copying and pasting the same information over and over again. Not to mention that with Multiorders, you can ship your order with a few mouse clicks.
- Connect all your sales channels, to manage all orders in a single dashboard
- Click “Ship order” on your new order
- Choose the preferred shipping carrier
- Print the shipping label and that’s it!
Multiorders automatically adds a tracking number to your store as soon as it is provided. Find your way to make the shipping faster and save time at the very first stage of order fulfilment!