What are the Christmas shipping deadlines for mail carriers?

National / World

USPS, FedEx, and UPS have strict mailing deadlines for gifts to be received by Christmas

United States Postal Service mail carrier Frank Colon, 59, delivers a package amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Christmas is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start shipping gifts to your loved ones if you haven’t already.

The U.S. Postal Service and UPS say they are confident that anything you want to send will get to its destination by Christmas – as long as you meet the deadlines.

For a Christmas delivery via USPS, ground service mail needs to be at the post office by Dec. 15. For first-class, it’s Dec. 17, and for priority mail, it’s Dec. 18. Express shipping services can be mailed out two days before Christmas.

The postal service expects 25 billion letters, cards and packages to pass through its system from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

USPS said it has been preparing for this holiday season since last year during the pandemic. In 2020, many people experienced delays with their packages, with some packages taking as long as three weeks to a month to ship.

UPS said 95% of its packages are delivered on time. This year, it expects an influx due to online shopping, so it’s better to ship early.

The shipping deadlines for UPS vary by location. For FedEx, it’s Dec. 15. All carriers also emphasize the importance of using correct spellings and numbers. Such mistakes could delay delivery.

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