Holiday shipping deadlines: When to send packages via USPS, FedEx, UPS

With many people deciding not to travel this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is expected to be an increase in the use of package shipping services. Here are the holiday shipping deadlines for the United States Postal Service, FedEx and United Parcel Service.

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USPS

Keep in mind the following dates if you are using USPS to ship packages this holiday season. “Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week,” according to a USPS news release. For those concerned about making a trip to the post office during a pandemic, the USPS wants to remind consumers that it offers a free Package Pickup service.

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines: The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses*:

  • Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Consumers can get more information on holiday shipping deadlines from the USPS website.

FedEx

FedEx offers a shipping deadline chart in PDF format on its website, outlining the last day to ship to ensure on-time delivery by Christmas for both domestic and international locations. FedEx offers package drop-off locations at a variety of retail stores as well as official drop boxes and shipping centers. For more information on holiday shipping, visit FedEx’s Holiday Shipping Schedule & Details page. Below are FedEx’s domestic shipping deadlines.

  • Dec. 9 — FedEx SmartPost
  • Dec. 15 — FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 21 — FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 3Day Freight
  • Dec. 22 — FedEx 2Day, FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day Freight
  • Dec. 23 — FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx First Overnight
  • Dec. 25 — FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Priority, FedEx SameDay City Direct

UPS

UPS also offers consumers a PDF chart detailing the deadlines for delivery by Dec. 24. There is no pickup or delivery service on Christmas Day. For more information on holiday shipping, visit the UPS website. UPS offers a contactless pickup service for those who don’t want to leave home. Below are the deadlines for domestic shipping via UPS.

  • Dec. 15 — UPS Ground
  • Dec. 21 — UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 22 — UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Dec. 23 — UPS Next Day Air



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