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Holiday deadlines for USPS, UPS and FedEx released. ‘The earlier you send, the better’

“It’s never too early to plan for the holidays,” FedEx says.
FedEx delivery - AP
FedEx is one of three major shipping services that has released its recommended holiday shipping deadlines. (Mark Lennihan | Associated Press)

When it comes to the sending and receiving of holiday packages ahead of Christmas, major shipping companies are reminding people that sooner is better than later.

“The earlier you send, the better,” the U.S. Postal Service advises on its website. “Don’t delay, mail and ship today!”

But if you prefer a hard deadline, we can provide that too.

USPS, UPS and FedEx have released their holiday shipping deadlines for gifts you need delivered prior to Dec. 24 and 25 within the U.S.

USPS holiday shipping recommendations

For arrival by Christmas Day in the contiguous U.S. (​excluding Alaska and Hawaii), USPS recommends the following send-by dates:

  • Retail Ground: Dec. 15;
  • First-Class Mail: Dec. 17;
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 18;
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 23.

Sending packages to Alaska and Hawaii requires​ a few extra days ahead of the above recommendations.

If mailing with USPS, you can expect certain types of mail to take longer to arrive and cost you more than you may have been used to, McClatchy News previously reported. The longer delivery times are set in perpetuity, though the price increase is temporary for the holidays.

UPS holiday shipping schedule

If you need your package to be delivered by Christmas Eve, UPS has provided the following “recommended last days:” ​

  • Ground Shipping: Varies (check ups.com/ctc for estimate)
  • 3-Day Select: Dec. 21;
  • 2nd Day Air: Dec. 22;
  • Next Day Air: Dec. 23.

FedEx shipping deadlines

“It’s never too early to plan for the holidays,” FedEx says, so the shipping service has provided the following deadlines for delivery by Christmas:

  • Ground Economy: Dec. 9;
  • Ground and Home Delivery: Dec. 15;
  • Express Saver: Dec. 21;
  • 2Day and 2Day A.M.: Dec. 22;
  • First Overnight, Priority Overnight and Standard Overnight: Dec. 23;
  • Same Day: Dec. 24.
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