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Christmas Air Freight Delivery – Key Client Dates

Due to the extraordinary circumstances facing merchants, manufacturers and third-party logistics providers, we have been working closely with all our clients to advise on delivery strategy for key upcoming dates. With the holiday season coming up, along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we are going to be dealing with a period that SEKO Logistics has dubbed, the ‘Super Peak’.

In order to be as well-prepared as possible and to have products on shelves in stores in time for the first week of December in the United States, we are recommending key booking dates for air freight. In terms of sea freight – that ship has well and truly sailed, with bookings needing to have been made all the way back in July to ensure delivery for this peak season.

We are now advising our clients to begin booking their air freight space no later than December 1 to ensure delivery as early as possible in December, and no later than November 15 for an air charter. There remain options for sea-air freight from Asia via Dubai to the United States or the EU. Again, we would advise booking this option no later than November 12, and that wouldn’t reach its destination until the second week of December. To confirm these dates below:

  • General Air Freight delivery to USA – book no later than December 1, 2021
  • Full Air Charter delivery to USA – book no later than November 15
  • Sea-Air Freight from Asia via Dubai to USA or EU – book no later than November 12

This year is clearly unique, with current averages of 7-10 days to pick up shipments at origin then complete export formalities and screening, followed by 1-3 days for uplift. We are then looking at up to another week (and longer in some cases) for flight arrival, customs clearance, freight breakdown, and recovery from the carrier warehouse. Then we have the final mile, which is taking an additional 1-3 days at present depending on zonal distance from arrival airport, but this average is set to increase as we get closer to Singles Day (11/11), Black Friday (11/26), and Cyber (11/29).

As our Chief Commercial Officer Terry Unrein tell us, the current scenario is relentlessly challenging, but solutions are available: “Consensus from the client-side is that this volatility in the market is not going to change any time soon, but we would reiterate that it’s still not too late to get your product on the shelf for Christmas. However, you will need to do this via air freight – this is not a consideration but an imperative, air freight is now the only option for Super Peak delivery.”

This is going to be a Christmas unlike any other in a logistical context, but we are here to help you deliver for the holiday season. You can find out more about our Air Freight Forwarding services here, and we are available 24/7 to assist with any queries or concerns you might have.

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