Holiday Packaging Guide 2021 – Meeting Deadlines For The Year

Due to the large influx of orders during the holiday season and unstable delivery times, our order deadlines for holiday packaging have changed.  

To receive your orders in a timely fashion for the holidays, please follow our recommended order deadlines:

Order By:Delivered By (Latest)
September 6, 2021November 16, 2021 – November 20, 2021
September 13, 2021November 23, 2021 – November, 27, 2021
September 20, 2021November 30, 2021 – December 4, 2021
September 27, 2021December 7, 2021 – December 11, 2021
October 4, 2021December 14, 2021 – December 18, 2021

The holiday season is quickly approaching and businesses need to be prepared for longer freight times resulting in early consideration for their holiday packaging.

Is your packaging supply ready for the holiday rush?

OK – don’t panic.

Actually, maybe a little panic is good?

We’re kidding!

No need to panic. we’re here to help, so let’s get started. 

When Is the Latest Day to Order Holiday Packaging?

Let’s cover the most important facet of planning your holiday packaging first — deadlines.

As seen in the chart above, holiday packaging should be purchased a minimum of 2 months in advance this year.

Due to freight time conditions, the earlier you order, the better!

As you’ll see later in this post, freight times and costs will remain at a record high in the next coming years, so it’s best to be prepared for it for all holidays for 2021 and 2022. 

Here we outline the number of weeks in advance you should be ordering your holiday packaging to ensure you get your packaging in time for all gift-giving holidays this year:

  • Thanksgiving Black Friday & Cyber Monday: 6 – 10 weeks
  • Hanukkah: 7 – 10 weeks
  • Christmas: 8 – 12 weeks
  • New Years 8 – 12 weeks
  • Valentines Day: 12 – 14 weeks
  • Easter: 7 – 10 weeks
  • Mother’s Day: 6 – 10 weeks
  • Father’s Day: 6 – 8 weeks

Based on this, we recommended ordering your packaging by October 3rd for most packaging orders to ensure your holiday packaging arrives in time to get ready for the holiday season. 

Don’t forget that even after your packaging is delivered to you, fulfillment and delivery centers may add an extra week or two pushing the customer timeline for your products.

Freight Time and Cost Changes in 2021

According to The Financial Times, The price and time it takes for containers moving goods from China to the US and Europe has remained at a record high and is projected to continue being an issue in the coming years. 

So, you can definitely expect these conditions to affect the delivery times and costs of your holiday packaging this year. 

2021 has seen skyrocketing shipping costs and time frames as pandemic-related delays and closures continue to disrupt supply chain and freight flow. 

Paired with increased trade imbalances, tensions and shrinking manpower due to stay-at-home orders, let’s just say it’s easy to see why shipping costs and time frames have been affected the way they have.

Ocean freight demand increased as air and ground methods became more challenging during the pandemic. 

As ocean freight capacity decreases, rates remain high without much guarantee of transit times, making it vital for companies to order their custom packaging well in advance. 

It goes without saying that with limited capacity and increased demand, the shipping market is seeing a massive shift in not only pricing but in time management capabilities too. 

So, make sure you are ready for the holidays months in advance if you are ordering holiday related packaging designs for your products this year.

Read more about Freight Cost Changes

What Is Holiday Packaging and Do You Need It?

Holiday packaging refers to custom packaging that reflects the festive spirit of the holidays. 

Let’s not forget that consumers love convenience, when consumers are shopping for holiday gifts, you can be sure they are looking for products that are already packaged in a gift-like parcel. 

Whether it’s for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, specialized holiday packaging can add value to your product and customer experience. 

Change up your packaging to turn your everyday product into a precious, ready-to-deliver gift by just altering the packaging design to fit the holiday you want to serve.

For many businesses sales generated from holidays can account for more than 50% of their annual sales volumes, so it’s safe to say that the holidays are kind of a big deal.

Take Hershey kisses for example, by marketing their product as a valentine’s day gift, kisses have now become the face of this international holiday.

What better way to capture customer attention than festive packaging?

Holiday Packaging Volume Planning

Not sure how much packaging you need for the holidays?

Depending on the history of your product’s success during the holidays, packaging needs during this time frame can spike by nearly 80% higher than your regular day to day sales.  

Let’s name some contributing factors.

How much exposure does your product have now and how will you be ramping up sales during a holiday? 

Will you push out a special promotion, or come out with a special or limited edition product?

How much will you be spending on marketing and what channels? 

What kind of customer engagement levels do you anticipate?

Forecasted numbers can be hypothesized through historical data or by adding a multiplier to your regular sales volumes.

For example, if you anticipate spending 30% more in marketing dollars to get 50% more customer engagement and are releasing a limited edition product expected to drive a 30% higher demand, you can multiply these increases to your regular sales volumes to get an anticipated holiday sales expectancy.

We recommend ordering at least 20% more than your sales expectancy. This way, if you overachieve, you’re covered and if you don’t — that’s okay. 

You have some packaging ready for the year to come.

Breakdown Your Budgets

We briefly touched on your marketing spend, but what about product costs, fulfillment costs and shipping premiums during the holiday times?

Budgeting correctly is key to having a successful holiday turnout.

Expect to increase your marketing spend for a higher-than-normal sales conversion rate during holidays.

Product parts and labor may have higher costs during times of demand, especially this year, so anticipate higher costs in this department as well.

Fulfillment and shipping centers are both busier during this time as well with so much gift-giving happening through deliveries.

In fact, shipping rates can increase by over 80% when compared to rates during non-holiday seasons. This is caused by increased demand and less availability. 

This is especially true, if not worse this year with the previously discussed freight cost changes. 

When budgeting for your packaging, consider the per-unit margin over your total product cost including all aforementioned expenses. 

Keep in mind that your packaging can add value to your product and may very well pay for itself in that regard.

Get Inspiration

Never stop learning and improving your products.

Learn and get inspired from businesses that have had tremendous success in their holiday packaging. 

The truth is packaged products can tremendously affect your holiday sales.

Consumers often begin purchasing products in order to collect the special edition packaging, or share it on social media.

This can especially be true for businesses that utilize packaging as part of their product.

Stressed about ordering your holiday packaging? Don’t worry, PakFactory is here to help! 

Contact us now for expert support for your custom holiday packaging products. 

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