USPS, FedEx, and UPS announce final dates for shipping Christmas presents

With the holiday season fast approaching, the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS have released the final dates for shipping Christmas gifts.

Earlier this month, USPS announced it would begin implementing new services that will slow down the average mail delivery time by 30%. Prices are expected to increase during the holiday season.

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According to the Postal Service, if customers want their packages to get there on time and wish to send their packages through retail ground, they must mail them by Dec. 15. First-class packages must be shipped by Dec. 17, and customers must send priority mail by Dec. 18. However, suppose a customer needs to send things immediately. In that case, they can still use the extremely expensive priority mail express to mail items as late as Dec. 23. These dates will differ for Alaska and Hawaii residents.

The Postal Service recommends consumers mail gifts before Dec. 6, as that is the date when customer traffic increases significantly.

FedEx offers similar guidelines. Home delivery and ground packages must be shipped by Dec. 15. FedEx Express Saver and 3Day Freight have limited flexibility but must be sent by Dec. 21. FedEx 2Day packages must be sent by Dec. 22. For those who need to send things immediately, FedEx still offers 1Day Freight and Extra Hours, which can get the package there if sent by Dec. 23. Finally, those who have no time can use FedEx SameDay to deliver their packages for extremely high fees.

If customers wish to ship Christmas presents through UPS, 3-day select shipping must be sent by Dec. 21, 2-day air must be sent by Dec. 22, and next-day air must be sent by Dec. 23. All domestic and ground-based shipping through UPS will depend on the region but will average between one and five days.

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Most people tend to shop for gifts in early December. 24% of Americans said they buy Christmas presents in late November or early December, according to a 2019 YouGov poll. 16% said they bought gifts in the two weeks before Christmas. Only 9% buy their gifts in the last week before Christmas.

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