2012 Shipping Tips and Deadlines

Posted on 12/13/2012

UPS expects to deliver more than 500 million packages worldwide this holiday season. On December 20, their busiest day, UPS will deliver more than 28 million packages which means drivers will drop off more than 300 packages per second. Planning to mail some of your Christmas gifts? These tips will save you time, money and hopefully get your gifts to their destination before December 25.

Military Mail Deadlines Unfortunately, in most cases the Christmas deadlines for shipping gifts to members of the military have passed. However, if you use Express Mail Military Service, or EMMS, you have until December 17. Keep in mind EMMS is only available to select military and diplomatic post offices so you'll have to check with your local Post Office to see if this service is available.

USPS Deadlines
If you want to ship a gift without spending a fortune your only USPS options for getting it there by December 25 are First Class Mail and Priority Mail. The cut-off for First Class Mail is December 20 and the last day for Priority shipping is December 21. Of course if you don't mind paying a premium you can also use Express Mail, which has a deadline of December 22.

Buy Stamps Online
To make shipping cheaper while avoiding long lines at the Post Office head to usps.com. You'll save 15 percent when you print shipping labels at home plus you'll score free tracking on Priority packages. You can also schedule free package pickup right from your home.

FedEx Shipping Deadlines
Perpetual procrastinators can use FedEx SameDay and have their packages delivered on Christmas Day. But if you're looking for a more affordable option you'll want to try to get your gifts shipped by Monday, December 17 for FedEx Ground or by Wednesday, December 19 for FedEx Express Saver.

UPS Shipping Deadlines
UPS delivers 15.8 million packages on a normal business day, but on their busiest day, December 20, drivers will drop off 28 million boxes. That's the last day you can ship something via UPS 2nd Day Air and have it delivered before the Christmas holiday. After December 20 you'll have to use UPS Next Day Air.

By Alison Storm

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