When should I ship packages and letters for the holidays?


(WJHL) – As the holidays approach and supply chain challenges rear their heads once again, News Channel 11 has compiled a list of holiday shipping deadlines so you can avoid giving I.O.Us and Amazon screenshots for Christmas.


By and large, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will ship the bulk of most areas’ holiday packages and letters. With labor shortages and increased traffic this time of year, it’s no surprise that delivery times are up.

To make sure your USPS items arrive on time for Christmas, post officials say you should bring them to your local office by the following dates:

  • Dec. 17 – First-Class Mail and Packages weighing under a pound.
  • Dec. 18 – Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express


The United Parcel Service (UPS) has some later opportunities for shipping, but UPS Ground times depend on your location and destination.

Here’s a list of their domestic shipping times for packages that arrive on or before Dec. 24:

  • UPS Ground Shipping – Location dependent, check here.
  • Dec. 21 – UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 22 – UPS 2nd Day Air services
  • Dec. 23 – UPS Next Day Air services


FedEx has charted out some deadlines for their ground shipping, requiring the earliest action in this list.

Some domestic deadlines can be found below:

  • Dec. 9 – FedEx Ground and Freight Economy
  • Dec. 15 – FedEx Ground to all US and FedEx Freight Priority/Direct
  • Dec. 21 – FedEx Express Saver and 3Day Freight
  • Dec. 22 – FedEx 2Day, 2Day AM and 2Day Freight
  • Dec. 23 – FedEx Overnight Services and 1Day Freight
  • Dec. 24 – FedEx Same Day

It looks like the true meaning of Christmas might be timing: services get significantly more expensive as you miss deadlines.

For example, the jump from Priority Mail to Priority Mail Express takes about $18.40 extra for the same Flat Rate Envelope, according to USPS price charts.

Each service accepts only certain types of packages, so make sure to check with your preferred shipping provider as early as you can.

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