Which Days are Considered “Business Days”?
We’ve all been there before—you go to place an order, input your address, and then pick your shipping option. Usually, you have the choice of standard 5-day shipping or express 2-day shipping, with the caveat that those are “business days”. So, you ask yourself, what is a business day? After all, you might not work on a Saturday but the postal service does.
As a general rule, the term “business days” only refers to the days of the workweek, i.e., Monday through Friday. Although the U.S. Postal Service does deliver on Saturdays, other major shipping services, such as FedEx and UPS, do not consider these days business days. Therefore, you’ll have to account for weekends in your shipping schedule.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the details of what a “business day” is and explain how these time restrictions can affect your logistics. If you’re trying to get a package delivered as soon as possible, we’ll also offer some advice to speed up the process. So, if you’re ready to get shipping, let’s dive in!
Business Days vs. Workdays
The terms “business days” and “workdays” are often used interchangeably and with good reason. After all, they both refer to the days of the week when people are typically working. However, there is a small but important distinction between the two. A workday is defined as any day that you are scheduled to work. This could be four 10-hour days, five 8-hour days, or some other combination.
For most people, a workday is simply whichever days they are scheduled to work their regular job. A business day, on the other hand, is any day that is not a weekend or holiday. So, if you’re scheduled to work on a Saturday, that is considered a workday. But, since it’s not a Monday through Friday, it is not considered a business day.
This distinction is important for shipping because most shipping companies, like FedEx and UPS, only deliver on business days. So, if you need to get a package delivered on a Saturday, you’ll need to use a different shipping method or be prepared to pay for express shipping.
How Many Business Days are in a Month and Year?
The number of business days in a month depends on the month and the year. For example, in 2020, there were 22 business days in February but 24 in March. The number of business days in a year is also variable. In a leap year, there are 366 days but only 260 business days. In a non-leap year, there are 365 days but only 261 are business days.
The number of business days in a month can also be affected by holidays. For example, in the United States, Memorial Day and Labor Day are both considered federal holidays. This means that, in addition to being weekends, these days are also holidays. As a result, the number of business days in May and September is reduced by two.
However, if we were to give a percentage based on the average number of business days, roughly 72% of the year is a business day.
What Does 2-Day Shipping Really Mean?
2-day shipping is often used as a marketing tool to encourage buyers to spend a little more for faster shipping. However, depending on the day of the week, you may not actually receive your shipment within 2 days. Instead, “2-day shipping” means that the order will arrive two business days after it is placed.
So, if you place an order on a Thursday, it will arrive on the following Monday. If you place an order on a Friday, it will arrive on the following Tuesday. This is technically four full days but, because two of those days are non-business days, the company can still advertise guaranteed 2-day shipping.
Additionally, it’s important to note that, while most shipping companies guarantee delivery within the stated time frame, there may be some exceptions. For example, if you live in a rural area, your package may take longer to arrive. Additionally, orders placed on holidays or weekends will usually be processed the next business day.
Are Business Days the Same in Different Countries?
The answer to this question is usually no. In the United States, for example, business days are typically considered Monday through Friday. However, in Europe, business days are often considered Monday through Thursday. This is because, in many European countries, Friday is considered a half-day and most businesses close at noon.
Additionally, in Muslim countries, business days are typically Sunday through Thursday. This is because Friday is considered the Muslim holy day and most businesses are closed. So, if you’re shipping internationally, it’s important to check with your shipping company to see what their definition of a business day is. This will ensure that your package is delivered on time and you aren’t charged extra for expedited shipping.
What Would Happen if We Had a 4-Day Work Week?
If the United States were to adopt a 4-day work week, the effect on business days would be minimal. However, there would be a significant impact on the shipping industry. This is because, currently, most shipping companies only operate on business days. So, if the workweek were reduced to four days, that would mean that shipments could only be delivered on those days.
This would likely lead to a significant increase in the price of shipping, as companies would need to hire more workers to cover the additional days. Additionally, it would likely lead to longer delivery times, as there would be fewer days to process and ship orders. So, while a 4-day work week might be good for workers, it could have a negative impact on the shipping industry.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know what a business day is, you can better understand how it affects your shipping. As a general rule, business days are considered Monday through Friday. However, in some countries, these standards may be different. If you’re unsure of when your package will arrive, you can always check the expected arrival date.