Date & Time: Cutoffs, Lead Time, and Blackouts for Delivery Date and Time in Transit

Overview

If you’re using ShipperHQ to show estimated delivery dates, times in transit, or a shipping calendar you’ll want to ensure that you have the correct Cutoff Times, Lead Times, and Black out Dates and Days set so that you are showing accurate information to your customers.

First, ensure that you’ve enabled the calendar-based features of ShipperHQ, then review the following to ensure that you have the calendar-related information set correctly.

Origins

Once ShipperHQ’s calendar-related functionality is enabled, you’ll find an additional panel on your Origins. In this panel, you’ll set the base Cutoff Time for Same Day Delivery as well as Lead Time and Blackout Dates and Days for this origin. This information can vary origin by origin so be sure to verify the settings on each origin reflect that origin’s information.

Cutoff Times

Cutoff Times are used in addition to lead time if “Lead Time Overrides Cutoff Time” is set to “No” on your Carrier Settings (Settings button in the top-right corner of the Carriers page), otherwise is only used if your lead time is set to zero.

For example, with a lead time set to zero and a cutoff time set to 2 PM, ShipperHQ will assume that orders placed before 2 PM will be shipped the same day, orders placed after 2 PM will be shipped on the next available shipping date (as defined by your Blackout Dates and Days, see below). If you have “Lead Time Overrides Cutoff Time” set to “No” and lead time set to 1 day and cutoff time set to 2 PM, ShipperHQ will assume that orders placed before 2 PM will ship on the next business day and orders placed after 2 PM will ship in 2 business days. Note that the time here is specified in the timezone set under the Global Settings tab in your Account Settings.

Lead Time

Lead Time is used to define how many days are required to prepare an order for shipment. If you ship the same day as long as the order is placed before a cutoff time, this should be set to zero. If you ship on the next business day after an order is placed, this should be set to one, etc. You can optionally set a different Lead Time for different shipping method types. This value can be overridden by settings at the Carrier or Shipping Group levels (see below).

Blackout Production Days & Dates

Blackout Production Days and Dates are used to define when this origin is not processing orders. These dates will not count against your lead time. For example, if you have a lead time of 2 days set and Blackout Days of Saturday and Sunday, an order placed on a Friday will not be assumed to be ready for shipment until the following Tuesday. This will most commonly be set to weekends and holidays.

Blackout Dispatch Days and Dates

Blackout Dispatch Days and Dates are used to define when this origin does not ship orders out. This will most commonly be set to weekends and holidays.

Carriers

As with Origins, you’ll find a Calendar panel on carriers which support calendar-based functionality. These carriers include UPS, FedEx, In-Store Pickup, and Custom Rate carriers. Here you can set whether you’d like to show a shipping calendar, estimated delivery date, or estimated time in transit to your customers. The availability of these options depend on whether they are supported by the selected carrier and by your eCommerce platform.

For Time in Transit and Estimated Delivery Dates you’ll see options to set Lead Days as well as Maximum Time in Transit. Lead days allow you to set the number of days required to prepare an order for shipment. This obeys the Blackout Production Days and Dates for the relevant Origin but will override that origins Lead Days if set. This value can be overridden by settings at the Shipping Group level (see below). Maximum Days Goods can be in Transit lets you set a maximum time in transit for your products. Shipping options which would take longer than the number of days set here will not be shown to your customers.

Blackout Delivery Days and Dates let you tell ShipperHQ when this carrier should not be assumed to deliver. This will be taken into account when calculating an estimated delivery date as well as when working out which shipping options will be able to deliver by a certain date for Shipping Calendar functionality.

For Table Rate Carriers, look for the Shipping Methods section and edit your methods to add Lead Times.
Check these screenshots for more information on this setting for table rates

Finally, Delivery Date Message and Date Format allow you to control how this information will be shown to your customers on checkout.

Shipping Groups

Some calendar-related settings are also available at the Shipping Group level.

These options allow you to set different Lead Times or Max Time in Transit for specific groups of products. For example, you may have products which need to be customized and therefore take longer to prepare for shipment than the rest of your products. By creating a Shipping Group with a longer lead time set and assigning those products to this shipping group, ShipperHQ will take into account the extra time required to prepare these items when displaying estimated delivery dates or times in transit. Alternately, if some products in your store are perishable and can only be in transit for a limited amount of time, you can set up a Shipping Group with a shorter Max Time in Transit than the number set on your Carriers. When products assigned to this Shipping Group are in your customers’ cart, only shipping options which would be able to deliver within the set Max Time in Transit will be shown to your customers.