As the country continues to navigate the holiday season during the ongoing pandemic and many people deciding not to travel, there is expected to be an increase in the use of package shipping services.

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. 

Here are the holiday shipping deadlines for the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. 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.

USPS

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

More information on holiday shipping deadlines is available on 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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