FedEx Outages in September – Are You Prepared?

If you use real-time FedEx shipping rates in your online store, were you aware of the FedEx planned outages coming up next month?

September 3, 2011 update:

Start Date and Time: Saturday, September 3, 2011, 9 p.m. CT
End Date and Time: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 1 a.m. CT
Duration: 4 hours
FedEx Systems Affected: Production and test rating and shipping

September 17, 2011 update:

Start Date and Time: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9 p.m. CT
End Date and Time: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 11 p.m. CT
Duration: 2 hours
FedEx Systems Affected: Production rating and shipping

If not, this could cost you lost sales, as your cart would error out instead of returning shipping options.

All it takes is a simple email signup…

Get Email alerts from FedEx

If you use FedEx for live rates, make sure you are signed up for their email alerts. It only takes a minute, and will save you many headaches and lost revenue.

(I would type more, but I think the above two sentences conveys the point nicely.)

If you use another shipping carrier, here is a recent blog post about shipping outages and what you can do.

Are you prepared?

If you did know about it, remember that “knowing is [only] half the battle” (G.I. Joe reference). You now have to come up with a backup plan to put into action in your store.

Ideas might include:

  • A note on the top of your cart page during the outage explaining why FedEx rates are not available
  • Enable alternate real-time rates from other carriers like UPS or USPS.
  • Enable a static shipping by weight/currency table.

Whatever your choice, make sure you put something in place to save the sale.

And please sign up for email alerts from FedEx so I don’t have to post for every planned outage.  😉

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