Saturday, December 13, 2014

Scheduling Christmas Orders

This holiday season is our busiest time of year when it comes to our shipping business. Seafood makes a great gift especially for those transplants who can't make it home to Maine for Christmas. It is also a popular choice to create a special Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner.

No surprise, it is also FEDEX's busiest season and with the extra workload and the possibility of winter storms there are sometimes delivery hiccups. 

So to help facilitate the successful delivery of your packages and the creation of a memorable holiday, I have a few tips for you.

  1. If you are sending seafood as a gift, make sure the recipient is expecting it. Lobsters are a great gift but a terrible surprise. If the recipient is away for a few days when the box is delivered they might be returning to an unpleasant gift on their doorstep.                                                                                  
  2. FEDEX does NOT deliver on December 25th or on January 1st. We are NOT open on December 25th or January 1st.                                                                                                              
  3. The last delivery before Christmas will be December 24th. The first delivery after Christmas will be December 30th (or December 27th with a Saturday delivery).                                                     
  4. The last delivery before New Year's will be December 31st. The first delivery after New Year's will be January 6th (or January 3rd with a Saturday delivery).                                                                     
  5. We ARE open Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, we will be closing at 5 pm.                                  
  6. Standard Overnight typically delivers around 4 pm but sometimes as late as 8 pm, depending on your local delivery routes. Deliveries also tend to be a little later during Christmas. If you are having a dinner party you should order Priority Overnight or even order a day early. Priority Overnight usually delivers by noon.                                                                                    
  7. Live lobsters are shipped overnight and generally should be eaten shortly after arrival. However, cooked lobsters, lobster meat, scallops, chowders and other less perishable items can last a couple of extra days in transit or in a refrigerator. If you plan to ship these types of items you might consider shipping them early to create more cushion in the event of a shipping delay. For example:  
    • You need 2 pounds of lobster meat and a pound of scallops for a Christmas eve dinner party. 
    • If you schedule the delivery for the 23rd and for some reason FEDEX can't deliver on time, they will be able try again on the 24th. The product will still be perfect and the party will be saved.
    • If you schedule the delivery for the 24th and there is a problem, FEDEX will not attempt delivery again until the 26th. Uh oh hotdogs for dinner and possibly spoiled product when it does arrive.
    •  I am not trying to scare you away from shipping. I am just making you aware that FEDEX is a third party and there are sometimes complications outside of yours or my control, but there are ways we can mitigate risk simply by choosing a different delivery day.   
  8. In the event of a mishandled box or a delayed shipment you are protected. We can submit refund claims for late deliveries or spoiled product. But FEDEX usually rejects weather related claims. So if you know there is going to be a wicked snow storm in your area we should probably reschedule the order. We do our best to watch the weather, but you are a lot more familiar with your local forecast . . .  so help us help you and send me an email at gurnetlobsters@gmail.com if you are concerned about the weather.                                       
  9. I'm a pretty awesome person, but alas I am only one pretty awesome person. I do not have a team of pickers and packers standing by to process and ship your order. I receive the order from the website, create a shipping label, process payments, answer any questions, and then send instructions to our packer (who is also the commercial wharf hand). It's all quite manual and while not particularly complicated, it does take time. Generally, if I haven't created a shipping label by noon we won't be able to make our 3 pm FEDEX pickup.  Long story short, same day shipments are really tough. Please place your order at least the day before it needs to ship. The sooner you order, the better. An early order means more time for us to plan and pick out the best product we can for your delivery. 
  10. FEDEX has announced a rate increase of about 5% for 2015. Our shipping calculator will not include this rate increase until January 1. Any orders placed prior to January 1 that are scheduled to ship after January 1 may be subject to a slight surcharge to account for the increase. We apologize for the inconvenience.  
By keeping these few tips in mind we should be able to get you some tasty seafood for the holidays.