Monday, October 9th, is officially recognized by the U.S. government as Columbus Day, designated as a federal holiday on the second Monday in October.
Nonetheless, the day has ignited controversy, as Columbus’s 1492 arrival in the Americas, while paving the way for European exploration, also marked the beginning of a painful era for indigenous populations, characterized by disease, warfare, and colonization.
In response, some states and municipalities have opted to rename and reframe the holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with the intention of honoring the cultures, histories, and contributions of native populations while also acknowledging the hardships and displacement they experienced due to colonial practices.
Moreover, it’s noteworthy that a majority of states do not officially recognize this day as a holiday at all, and local state, country and city government offices may remain open.
Still, today will impact business operations in two primary areas: banking and shipping. Let’s take a look.
Banks / Fund Transfers
While many banks are closed today, some are open and will operate almost like on any other day. But if you expect electronic payments today, do not expect to receive them.
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is the primary system utilized by banks to facilitate monetary transfers among themselves, which encompasses disbursements from platforms like eBay, Etsy, PayPal, Venmo, and more. ACH is operated by the U.S. Department of The Treasury and therefore is not open today.
What is closed or not operational today at USPS?
- No counter operations at retail post offices around the country.
- No regular mail delivery.
- No regular mail pick-up.
- No mail pickup from USPS mailboxes.
- No USPS phone customer service.
What is open or operational today at USPS?
- Access PO Boxes at most locations, if separated area from counter operations/lobby.
- Use self-service machines at most locations, if separated area from counter operations/lobby.
- Online USPS Click-N-Ship is fully functional.
- Inside and outside USPS mailboxes are open 24/7 – but outside boxes could become full at busy post office locations.
Amazon, UPS, FedEx, DHL, And Regional Delivery Services
Private shipping carriers are open today, including for pick-ups and deliveries. Some local UPS Stores may be closed as they are independently operated, but that is likely very few, if any.
But there are a few exceptions:
UPS SurePost is a delivery service by UPS that utilizes the U.S. Post Office for the final delivery. Shipments on this service will not be delivered today.
Sendle is a carrier that heavily relies on USPS for pick-up and delivery. Only its West Coast-based regional service in partnership with GLS will be available today for pick up and delivery.
In general, any shipments that rely on USPS for final deliveries, such as DHL eCommerce or similar, will not be delivered today.
Tips for Sellers on Columbus Day, October 9th, 2023
Today can be tricky for online sellers, as international buyers may think this is a normal business day. Here are some tips on how to deal with shipments on Columbus Day.
You may process shipments as usual, but it’s good practice to notify buyers that today is a federal holiday in the United States and USPS and other carriers are not operating.
If you process orders, buyers will still receive a tracking number, but notifying them it’s a federal holiday means they won’t expect tracking updates until Tuesday.
With USPS Scan Forms, it’s best to close out the day as usual. Some shipping platforms may not allow this, or may let you roll over shipments to the next business day. Check with them for details.
eBay, Etsy, Poshmark, PayPal and other platforms with built-in shipping solutions will generate labels today. However, most platforms won’t tell buyers Columbus Day is a federal holiday in tracking notifications and sellers should consider providing an additional email to shipments being sent via USPS.
Federal / USPS Holidays in 2023
Looking ahead, here is a list of the remaining federal and postal holidays in 2023, with the next federal holiday just about a month away.
- Friday, November 10 (observed) – Veterans Day (observed)
- Thursday, November 23 – Thanksgiving Day
- Monday, December 25 – Christmas Day
- Monday, January 1, 2024 – New Year’s Day
* Veterans Day, November 1, 2023, falls on a Saturday this year and when this occurs, workers at government agencies receive the preceding Friday as their day off.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
We do not sell your information.
You can unsubscribe at any time.
Head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Marketplace Sellers and interact with us and other small business owners. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay up to date with relevant news and business insights for your online business.