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Santa and Bill the Reindeer Box draw a tutorial for holiday express shipping on a blackboard.

Holiday Express Shipping Tutorial

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year – and a time period that relies on strategy and precision on the part of shoppers, sellers, and shippers alike. However, mess-ups and last minute shopping decisions happen, and there are times where paying a high premium for speedy express shipping isn’t just a luxury but a necessity. The holiday shopping period is undoubtedly one of those times.

Having your eCommerce store properly positioned to take in those last minute purchases might mean the difference between a happy customer (and a sale) or an unhappy customer (and a missed opportunity).

What shipping methods should I use to ship express orders during the holidays?

For express orders that need to be shipped quickly and effectively, we strongly recommend the following shipping methods:

  1. FedEx 2 Day (by the end of the day in 2 days)
  2. FedEx 2 Day A.M. (by 9:00am in two days)
  3. FedEx Standard Overnight (by the end of the day the next day)
  4. FedEx Priority Overnight (by 12:00pm the next day)
  5. FedEx Priority International

We heavily recommend express shipping methods from FedEx because, while they tend to be premium and higher in cost than their competition, they’re extremely reliable and offer shippers a money-back guarantee that the delivery will arrive on time. Customers needing their products ASAP for last-minute shopping will gladly pay the higher costs for a quality shipping method that delivers their gifts in time.

What are the holiday shipping deadlines?

To make sure packages arrive by December 25th, 2018, it is important that your orders are in* by these dates:

  • FedEx 2 Day – Wednesday, December 18th
  • FedEx 2 Day A.M. – Wednesday, December 18th
  • FedEx Standard Overnight -Thursday, December 19th
  • FedEx Priority Overnight (3 options) -Thursday,December 19th
  • FedEx Priority International
    • U.S. to Puerto Rico -Thursday, December19th
    • U.S to Canada – Thursday, December 19th
    • U.S. to Mexico – Wednesday, December 18th

For last days to ship from the U.S. to other international destinations, go to Get Rates & Transit Times at

*Please allow 24 hours from submission to fulfill the order prior to the ship date to ensure the package gets out on time.

What ways does ShipMonk recommend to set up express shipping?

We recommend that you charge flat rates using weight tiers and map to FedEx Express shipping methods in ShipMonk.

Flat rates might cost more or less than what the cost of shipping is actually worth and aren’t always accurate. However, the reason why flat rates can be advantageous over other methods is that the cost of shipping doesn’t surprise customers and can be explained in advance before the customer checks out.

 Flat Rate Express Shipping Tutorial

Fortunately, this method is the easiest to implement. However, easier doesn’t necessarily mean better. Flat rates are static and could either overcharge or undercharge customers on shipping. To make your flat rates as accurate as possible, we recommend that you use weight-based flat rates in Shopify and set up a series of weight tiers for your flat rates. Remember that carriers charge based on dimensional weight. It’s extremely important that you know the weights and dimensions of your products and understand how they affect your cost of shipping.

Before proceeding to the instructions, find products of similar weights and sizes and run multiple express shipping quotes in domestic and/or international locations to compile an average price to use for your flat rate. If you have an active account on ShipMonk and your products have been added, you can use the Shipping Calculator feature to get quotes from all major carriers straight through ShipMonk.

As an example, we’ll be setting up 3 weight tiers in this tutorial:
  1. Express Shipping (0lbs – 5lbs)
  2. Express Shipping (6lbs – 10lbs)
  3. Express Shipping (11lbs – 15lbs)


Step 1. On Shopify, click on “Settings” on the lower left corner and click on “Shipping”.

The settings page on Shopify.

Step 2. Before proceeding with Step 2, please make sure your shipping zones are created.

For this tutorial, we have two zones:

  • Domestic (US orders only)
  • Rest of World (all international orders)

Click “Edit” for the zone you’re starting with. Then in the settings menu for that zone, click “Add rate” in the box for “Weight based rates”.

The domestic shipping page on Shopify.

Step 3. Please give your shipping option a name, enter the weight range for your weight tier, and the rate amount which should be the average cost for that weight tier we discussed in the introduction.

The weight based rate pop-up on Shopify.

Repeat Step 3 for each weight tier until all your flat rates are added, then click “Save” on the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

Holiday express shipping rates on Shopify based on weight.

Step 4. Verify that your flat rates are showing up correctly on your order checkout page.

Different examples of rates on the Shopify checkout page.

Step 5. Be sure to repeat Steps 3 – 4 for each shipping zone you’ve created in Step 2.

Step 6. Those new shipping options now need to be mapped in ShipMonk.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that the names of your mappings identically match the names of the options you created in Shopify.

Setting up weight based rates on ShipMonk.


If you have any additional questions on setting up Express Shipping, you can email me at

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