Ship It Out: Postal Deadlines for Holiday Packages

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Posted on 12/10/2010

Procrastinators beware—shipping deadlines for holiday packages are quickly approaching. Wondering how much longer you can put off shopping for Christmas gifts that need to be shipped? We’ve assembled a list of postal deadlines for holiday packages.


USPS - Shipping your packages with the United States Postal Service? According to their shipping calendar, the cut off day for Parcel Post, the most affordable shipping option, is December 15. The cut off for First Class Mail is December 20. Shipping packages via Priority Mail gives you an extra day. Express Mail will cost quite a bit more, but you can wait until December 22 and still have packages arrive in time for Christmas.


FedEx - If you use FedEx, the last day to ship a Christmas package depends on how much you’re willing to pay. For FedEx Ground, the most affordable option, your cut off day is December 17. For FedEx Express Saver, you can wait until December 21. You’ll have until December 22 if you use FedEx 2Day, and any Overnight packages need to be dropped off by December 23. But you can also pay extra for FedEx SameDay and still ship on Christmas Day. Need a better idea of how much it’s going to cost to ship those Christmas packages? Check out this online FedEx calculator to get rates and transit times.


UPS - Planning to use UPS to ship your holiday packages? According to their Year End Holiday Schedule, December 23 is the last day to ship packages and ensure that they’ll be delivered before Christmas. You must use UPS Next Day Air on the 23rd in order for your package to be delivered on the 24th. Any UPS 2ndDay Air packages picked up on the 23rd won’t be delivered until after the big day. UPS says they expect the busiest days to be Mondays before Christmas as well as the entire week of December 13-17. And if you want to buy shipping supplies at the UPS Store, be sure to print this 25% off coupon to get a discount on packaging supplies.


By Alison Storm



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