Current Shipping Status (8/13/2020) and Christmas 2020

The Short Version – Delays everywhere and they are likely to be around for a while. I cannot promise delivery in time for Christmas, so please plan for Christmas gifting now.

The Long Version -
UPS - (Ground, 3-Day-Select, 2nd Day, etc. and the Worldwide Expedited, UPS Standard (to Canada and Mexico), and Worldwide Saver services) - seem to be back on track with minimal delays. Delays from UPS are due to abnormally high package volume and tend to be delayed only 1-3 days.

USPS - After talking with a couple of my carrier representatives, there are significant issues that have been building up for several weeks, still Covid-related, that are affecting the entire USPS system's ability to ship almost anyplace.

Shipping within the US -
Delays of First Class and Priority Mail - current estimates range from 1 to 2+ weeks to anywhere in the US. Some estimates are better, some are worse. I'm currently seeing packages stalled for a week before they are tracked again. Domestic delays are due to low staffing (Covid-related absences and workplace safety protocols) and abnormally high package volume.
Shipping outside of the US -
Any shipment leaving the US via USPS First Class Mail International or USPS Priority Mail International may see delays due to lack of scheduled international flights. The flights were reduced back in March and April, and the traffic has not returned to previous levels, and may not for some time.
UPS Mail Innovations (most international orders) -
This shipment method is a hybrid of UPS and USPS. UPS picks up from the BGG Store and takes international orders to a processing center where they are transferred to USPS for transportation to various countries and then transferred to the local country's postal services for processing through customs and final delivery. International orders may see delays due to lack of scheduled international flights. The flights were reduced back in March and April, and the traffic has not returned to previous levels, and may not for some time.

However, my carrier representative for this service is indicating closer to normal shipping estimates (4-6 weeks) for most international countries with the exception of the following:

* Austria * Denmark * Hungary * Poland * Sweden * Czech Republic * Finland * Netherlands * Spain * Switzerland
The above countries are currently being serviced by ocean freighters instead of direct air flights. This process takes about a month for the freighter trip to the Netherlands and then another couple weeks for distribution to the postal service of the destination country and then another couple weeks for processing through customs and delivery from the postal service. Tracking is not generally updated on a regular basis for this service. Typical delivery estimates for these countries are estimated at about 3 months.
* United Kingdom * Australia
The above countries are currently seeing abnormally high volumes of packages and are experiencing significant delays in processing incoming mail that may delay delivery by one to two weeks.


Countries not serviced -
Due to Covid-related issues, there are still many countries that the BGG Store is not allowed to ship to -(https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm). The linked list has actually been reduced over the last few weeks, but this is another indication that international shipping will be difficult for a while.

Christmas 2020 -
Carriers are managing abnormally high volumes now and holiday shipping will likely only increase the current high volume. All customers should plan to order earlier.

I know many of you have not been thinking about Christmas shopping yet, but due to the current status of shipping delays that are likely to be around for a while, please be thinking about placing your orders now for shipping delivery in time for the holiday season. Those countries with a 3 month delivery time should be ordering between now and the end of September. Other countries outside of the US should plan to order for Christmas by the middle of October. US customers should order in November.

Also, though more expensive, I do recommend customers consider paying more for a better carrier service option. USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail International, while delayed, at least offer some insurance for loss. UPS includes some insurance on all of its regular carrier services (not UPS Mail Innovations).

Further International Shipping solutions -
We are still looking into some other international shipping solutions and hope to have something implemented within the next couple months that will be a decent middle ground between UPS Mail Innovations and the premium UPS international services.

We truly do appreciate your business and hope we can continue to patiently work through this.