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Deadlines for shipping holiday packages

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OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18: FedEx worker sort through a pile of boxes at the FedEx sort facility at the Oakland International Airport December 18, 2006 in Oakland, California. Days before Christmas, FedEx will experience its busiest shipping day on the 19th of December and projects that it will deliver a record 9.8 million packages, well over a daily average of 6 million. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES — The holidays are a busy time for everyone, including our mail carriers.

If you’re sending your friends and family members a gift you obviously want to make sure it arrives on time.

Here’s a list of shipping deadlines for three of the biggest mail carriers in the U.S. if you want your loved ones to get their gifts and cards by Christmas.

United States Postal Service (contiguous U.S., excludes Hawaii and Alaska)

  • USPS Retail Ground: Dec. 14
  • First class mail: Dec. 20
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 20
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 22

For shipping deadlines for international or military recipient’s, visit USPS’ website.


  • FedEx SmartPost: Dec. 10
  • FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground: Dec. 17
  • FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 19
  • FedEx 2-Day and FedEx 2-day a.m.: Dec. 20
  • FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx First Overnight: Dec. 21
  • FedEx Same Day, FedEx SameDay City Priority and FedEx SameDay City Direct: Dec. 25

For more shipping deadlines, including those for international locations, visit FedEx’s website.


  • UPS 3 Day Select: Dec. 18 (for delivery on Dec. 24)
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 20 (for delivery on Dec. 24)
  • UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 21 (for delivery on Dec. 24)

A more detailed schedule of UPS shipping deadlines and delivery dates can be found on their website.

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