Whether you like it or not, Christmas for many people means one thing: presents. For the many Americans who live far away from their loved ones, the holiday season requires one to become an expert in shipping logistics and planning. Slack off, and you risk waiting in line at a crowded post office, paying steep fees for last-minute shipping services or worse—failing to get those gifts to their recipients in time.
The sooner you start planning the better, as things are only going to get crazier.
According to Kimberly Frum, a spokesperson for the USPS, next week will be the busiest time of the year to ship a package in the U.S. This year, the USPS estimates that it will deliver around 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And while tweets from the President and the continued rise in online shopping have caused much chatter about the woes of United States Postal Service (USPS), you wouldn’t know it based on the holiday season. While first-class mail volumes have been declining, that trend does not hold for package delivery. “We do have package growth every single year, especially during the holidays,” Frum says.
The USPS will certainly be hard at work, but Frum assures that the Postal Service is ready and equipped to handle the volume. “It is definitely a busy time of year, but everybody is definitely happy to help,” she says.
“Knowing that we are helping to deliver happy packages to people is part of what we do. We prepare for this season all year long.”
With that in mind, here are all the Christmas shipping deadlines for the USPS and other delivery services, so you can make sure all your gifts make it under the tree in time.
What are the USPS Christmas shipping deadlines?
These are the USPS Christmas shipping deadlines for all 50 states
Dec. 14: Last day for retail ground shipping
Dec. 20: Last day to ship First-Class and Priority mail (including greeting cards) and First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces), including Alaska and Hawaii.
Dec. 22: Last day to ship Priority Mail Express, including Alaska and Hawaii
Find more USPS holiday shipping information here
What are the FedEx Christmas shipping deadlines?
Here are the last days to ship for FedEx if you want packages to arrive by Christmas day.
Dec. 17: Last day to ship FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
Dec. 19: Last day to ship FedEx Express Saver
Dec. 20: Last day to ship FedEx 2Day A.M. and FedEx 2Day
Dec. 21: Last day to ship FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight
Dec. 25: FedEx SameDay, SameDay City Direct and City Priority
Find more FedEx holiday shipping information here
What are the UPS Christmas shipping deadlines?
Here are the UPS Christmas shipping deadlines available to the contiguous U.S.
Dec. 18: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select
Dec. 20: Last day to ship 2nd Day Air
Dec. 21: Last day to ship Next Day Air
Find more UPS holiday shipping information here
What are the Amazon Christmas shipping deadlines?
These are the holiday shipping deadlines to receive packages by Christmas Day – although these dates only apply to the contiguous U.S. and can vary by item.
Dec. 18: Last day for free and standard shipping
Dec. 22: Last day for two-day shipping
Dec. 23: Last day for one-day shipping
Dec. 24: Last day for same-day shipping in select areas.
Find the full holiday shipping calendar here