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Without cardboard, it’s hard to survive the Shipathon. Here’s how to get there!

Last update: 23 August 2021
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Categories: Products

With back to school, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day sales, the last four months of the year turn into a parcel mailing marathon. A Shipathon, as we like to call it.

How to survive the Shipathon


Did you know that FedEx Ground saw a 29% increase in the volume of packages delivered during this period in 2020? With online shopping more popular than ever, this busiest time of the year is likely to hit record highs in 2021. The challenges are daunting!

Are you ready to keep up this pace despite the shortage of raw materials, the scarcity of cardboard boxes and the high risk of damaged packages? Remember, consumers expect the same lead times as usual! Here are our tips for surviving the Shipathon. The golden rule? Order everything you need now for the end of 2021.



Used in making cardboard boxes, Kraft paper, newsprint, and many other components essential for sending your packages, wood pulp has become a rare commodity. The reasons behind this shortage and that of cardboard are numerous: high demand for lumber reducing the availability of pulp, lack of recycled paper, limited production in certain sectors of the paper industry, etc.

Therefore, making a box, which used to take 7-10 days, now takes 40-70 days! And our flair tells us that this rarity will affect other e-commerce products like ribbon, mailing envelopes, air bags and bubble wrap.



Since the shipping network is overloaded during the Shipathon, items experience more stress, strain and drops. Even more so this year, it is therefore essential to ship your merchandise as soon as possible. Also make sure that it is adequately protected by its packaging to withstand shocks and rapid handling. 


Take on the challenges of the Shipathon in 5 steps

To avoid worst-case scenarios, here are five tips for maximizing your productivity:


Plan the demand and your inventory of packaging products.
If there’s just one thing you should take away from this article, it’s this: Don’t wait to order what you’ll need in the months to come! The delivery times are extremely long – they’re unheard of.

It’s better to increase the volume of your next orders to avoid running out of material to ship your packages. Even if you end up with an excess of boxes for a while, you can at least make your deliveries on time!


Expand, rearrange, or free up your storage space

Be creative! For example: Temporarily reorganize your storage space to accommodate more packaging products or, for the time being, store the merchandise you use less elsewhere.

One thing is for sure, reviewing storage space is a key part of your preparation, to make sure you have more than enough stock.


Have a backup plan in case of lack of boxes
Use standard non-personalized boxes? Have personalized tape instead of boxes to enhance the customer experience? Send some of your products in envelopes?

In short, plan one (or two, or three!) emergency scenarios to be prepared for any eventuality.


Choose the best protection against drops, impacts and compression.

With the network overloaded, workers are more likely to drop or handle shipments in a rush.

Additionally, cargo planes and trucks are packed to a maximum due to record shipping volumes, increasing the chances of packages getting wrinkled or completely crushed. Making it even more important to use proper packaging to protect your merchandise.


Re-evaluate the size of your packages.

With the increase in shipment volumes, higher surcharges for overweight and oversized packages have become the norm among carriers. Reviewing the format of your packages would help avoid these fees, which are even higher during the Shipathon. Since mailing volumes are far from declining, these surcharges may even persist beyond this busy period.





Still skeptical? Take a glance at the training sessions of the FedEx employees in order to be well prepared for any eventuality!

How will you prepare for the upcoming months?







The challenges ahead require good preparation. With delivery delays for packaging products sometimes approaching 70 working days, it’s never too early to make a move! Contact your account manager today to schedule your Shipathon. It’s also possible to contact our customer service, they will be happy to help you!


Stay one step ahead

Once a month, get our best advice and remain on top of market news and trends.

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