Holiday Shipping Times for USPS, UPS, and FedEx


If you want your holiday gift packages to reach your loved ones by Christmas, here are the essential shipping times to keep in mind.

(Photo Getty Images)

If you want your holiday gift packages to reach your loved ones by Christmas, here are the essential shipping times to keep in mind.

United States Post Office

For shipping via U.S. Post, here are the recommended shipping dates for delivery scheduled before December 25th.

Domestic Mail Class / Product Dates (except Alaska * and Hawaii **)

  • December 15: USPS Retail Ground Service
  • December 17: First Class Courier Service: December 17
  • December 18: Priority mail service
  • December 23: Express Priority Mail Service

For Alaska, ground service must be shipped by December 2. Priority and first class mail service by December 18, and priority express mail by December 21.

For Hawaii, First Class and Priority Mail services must be shipped by December 17 and Priority Mail Express by December 21. There is no Retail Ground service available. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin and destination.

La Poste also has a full list of holiday shipping times for international and military mail.

USPS spokesperson Stephen Doherty said they expected more than 12 billion letters, cards and parcels to be processed and mailed between Thanksgiving and New Years.

“We have everything in place. We do it every day, ”Doherty said.

Last year, a record number of vacation packages crisscrossed the country as the pandemic forced more people to order gifts online. Due to the volume, there were many complaints of slow service. Doherty admitted the post office was unprepared.

“The past year has been a wake-up call for us,” Doherty said. “The package volumes were way above what we expected.”

The post office expects to deliver 35% more daily parcels this holiday season than last year. Doherty said the post office was ready to meet the increased demand. They hired 40,000 additional seasonal workers and added additional courier facilities and new equipment to handle additional parcels.

Click here for a printable list of USPS Holiday Shipping Times (PDF).

UPS and FedEx

UPS and Fed Ex are also gearing up for peak seasons.

UPS Recommended Holiday Shipping Dates

  • December 21: UPS 3 days Select
  • December 22: UPS day 2 air service
  • December 23: UPS air service the next day

Click here for UPS Holiday Hours of Operation (PDF).

Fed Ex Recommended Shipping Dates for Public Holidays

  • December 15: FedEx Ground for the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii
  • December 24: FedEx Express same day ($$$)

Click here for a printable list of FedEx Recommended Holiday Shipping Dates (PDF).

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