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The Holiday Season Shipping Deadlines Have Been Announced

No matter how much time you think you have when it comes to the holidays, everything ends up going down to the wire.  Shipping is no exception.  Here are the key dates you need to watch for this year’s holiday shipping season.

Because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, most shipments will need to go out before the Friday before.  Here is a guide to the shipping deadlines by carrier for this holiday season.

Fed Ex

December 10:  FedEx Smart Post.  An inexpensive way to ship, but you have to have your item packed and shipped way ahead of the holiday in order for it to get there on time.

December 14:  FedEx Ground. This shipping option is for economical delivery to businesses.

December 17: FedEx Home Delivery. This is an economical solution for shipping to residences.

December 20:  Fed Ex 2 Day.  Delivery within two business days, but because of the weekend, the deadline is several days before the Christmas Holiday.

December 25:  FedEx Same Day. This is for cross-country shipping on the same day.   Although it has not yet been announced, the cutoff will most likely be in the morning.


December 14: UPS Ground.   If you are looking for a cheaper option for shipping, you will need to get it to UPS by December 14th for delivery by Christmas.

December 18:  3-Day Select.  This option buys you a little more time than Ground, but will still take about a week for delivery with the weekend.

December 20:  UPS 2nd Day Air.  Choosing this will ensure your package arrives by Monday, December 24th.

December 21:  UPS Next Day Air.   This is the last day to ship via UPS and get there for the holiday via UPS Next Day Air.  It will arrive on Monday, December 24th.


December 14:  USPS Retail Ground.  Similar to both FedEx and UPS, a shipment going via Ground must be received by the 14th.

December 20:  First-Class Mail (including greeting cards) and Packages.  Sending holiday cards?  They must be out by the 20th.

December 20:  Priority Mail.  The 20th is also the deadline for Priority Mail.

December 22:  Priority Mail Express.  This is the last day that the USPS will be shipping.

Of course, none of these deadlines are a guarantee so if you have something that absolutely must arrive by December 25th, plan on shipping it a few days earlier than the suggestion.