WASHINGTON — Halloween is still a few weeks away, but the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS are all turning their focus toward Christmas and holiday shipping.
All three carriers have now announced the recommended deadlines to mail greeting cards and packages for expected delivery by Christmas.
This comes amid the postal service intentionally slowing down some mail delivery and raising prices for some packages during the holiday rush as part of an effort to stabilize the struggling agency and reduce its growing debt.
There has also been a big push to get consumers this year to do their holiday shopping early because of supply chain issues around the world. Some retailers are also kicking off holiday sales in October.
The USPS said its busiest time begins two weeks before Christmas and customer traffic at Post Office locations typically starts increasing the week of Dec. 6, with Dec. 13-18 being the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the holiday season.
USPS 2021 holiday shipping deadlines
- Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 17 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service
FedEx also recently announced its Christmas deadlines, with options to ship packages up until Christmas Eve for delivery by Dec. 25.
- FedEx Ground Economy - Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021
- FedEx Ground - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
- Home Delivery - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
- Express Saver - Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021
- 2Day & 2Day AM - Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021
- Overnight Services - Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021
- FedEx Same Day - Friday, Dec. 24, 2021
These are the recommended last days to ship something within the U.S. using UPS for delivery by Christmas Eve.
- UPS 3 Day Select - Tuesday, Dec. 21
- UPS 2nd Day Air services - Wednesday, Dec. 22
- UPS Next Day Air services - Thursday, Dec. 23
- UPS Ground shipping - Check UPS website calculator for recommendations