2021 BFCM information for Shopify Fulfillment Network

This year, BFCM takes place over November 26-29, 2021. Shipping orders to your customers is always a top priority and SFN is preparing for a high volume of activity across the network.

Preparing your inventory at SFN for peak periods

To help SFN receive your inbound transfers more efficiently, you can set up your inbound transfers in the following ways:

  • If you have multiple packages in your inbound transfer, then you can create a separate inbound transfer for each individual package to improve the accuracy of tracking and labelling.
  • You can ship your packages in pallets to make sure that your packages are organized under one tracking number and don't get separated.
  • You can include the Bill of Lading (BOL) in your inbound transfer to provide more transparency about its contents and ensure that SFN receives all your items.

If you have inventory in multiple SFN fulfillment centres, then you can transfer your items to a fulfillment center that is closer to your customers.

If you want to remove some items and fulfill only a part of the fulfillment request, then you can split your fulfillment request in the SFN app.

If you want to avoid overselling inventory, then you can automatically hide out-of-stock products from your customers in your Shopify admin.

Fulfillment center service suspensions and service level agreements

Some SFN services and operations are paused, are delayed, or require more time to complete during the peak period:

All other SFN operations proceed as usual during the the peak period. However, you still need to set correct expectations for your customers about delivery dates and set appropriate shipping rates at your checkout during the peak period.

Holiday shipping cutoff dates

You can have your domestic shipments arrive by December 25, 2021 if you send your packages before the cut-off date. The cut-off date varies depending on the carrier and the shipping services used for the package.

The folowing shipping cut-off dates are provided by the shipping carriers and are based on expected holiday shipping volumes. Due to COVID-19's continued effects on shipping routes and facilities, unexpected delays are still possible. Advise your customers to make their orders as early as possible to ensure their items arrive by December 25, 2021.

The folowing table lists the cut-off dates by SFN carriers for domestic shipments in United States and Canada.

SFN shipping carrier holiday cut-off dates
Delivery duration Cut-off date
United States domestic Canada domestic
5 to 7 days December 14, 2021 December 13, 2021
3 days December 16, 2021 December 19, 2021
2 days December 20, 2021 December 20, 2021

If you have orders that aren't fulfilled by SFN, then make sure to check the cut-off dates by your carriers.

Changes to postal services

USPS is temporarily suspending their guarantee on Priority Mail Express International shipments to the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Great Britain
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand

High risk orders

Learn more about the steps you can take to investigate orders that are marked as high risk by Shopify's built-in fraud analysis.

Hours of operation

SFN warehouses operate Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm local time. Learn more about SFN warehouses' holiday closures.

Unexpected delays

Unexpected events, such as inclement weather and COVID related shipping restrictions, can cause delays in SFN fulfillment and carrier delivery.

When there are unexpected delays, your SFN app will display alerts that are visible to all staff accounts. If a delay that might impact your store is estimated to be longer than 24 hours, then the account owner of your store will receive an email about the delay. If a delay that impacts your store is estimated to be longer than 3 days, then SFN will contact you to help mitigate the effect of the delay.

SFN packing slips

Make sure your packing slips are formatted to print on 4 by 6 inch labels.

Apps that affect gift messages or order notes aren't supported by SFN and don't display on SFN packing slips.

Peak time surcharges

Each year during BFCM and the holiday season, shipping carriers often add surcharges to account for the increase in shipping volume.

As a result, SFN shipments from the United States will incur a 0.29 USD surcharge between October 15 and December 26, 2021. During this period, your bills display this surcharge in your transportation costs, and your rate card is updated accordingly.

Special projects during BFCM

You can request special projects for anything that goes beyond the normal work needed to process your inbound transfers and orders. Special projects include the following types of work:

You can request a special project in your SFN app. For your request to be approved and completed, make sure to include the following information:

  • all SKUs involved
  • all non-SKU supplies required
  • detailed assembly instructions (photos and videos if required)
  • quantities required
  • due date of the project
  • if applicable, any related projects or inbound transfers
  • if applicable, any new SKUs that would be created
  • if applicable, preferred fulfillment center

Getting Support

SFN support team operates during the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm EST
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm EST

Review the following support options to determine where to find answers for your questions:

SFN support has contingency plans in place in case of service disruptions or delays resulting from COVID-related shipping restrictions, weather events, and congestion in carrier hubs. If your fulfillment is impacted by a service disruption or delay, then the SFN support team will provide you with updates.

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