When to ship your holiday gifts

Holiday Shipping Christmas Gifts_239846

In this Nov. 20, 2015 photo, Rachel Fryer prepares to place a package inside a container behind her at Worldport in Louisville, Ky. Each container typically holds about 400 packages. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The candy’s been collected and the pumpkins have been removed from the doorsteps, this can mean only one thing– time to start planning for the holiday season.

Although the holidays can seem far away, it is important to plan ahead, especially if you plan to ship things during the busy holiday season. 

Here are the shipping deadlines for the three major carriers in the United States if you hope to get your shipment delivered by December 25.



  • December 14 – Retail Ground deadline
  • December 20 – First Class and Priority Mail deadline
  • December 22 – Priority Mail express deadline

International Dates Vary. Click here to search by region.



  • December 10 – Smart Post services deadline
  • December 17 – Ground and Home delivery deadline
  • December 19 – FedEx Express Saver
  • December 20 – Two Day Services deadline
  • December 21 – Overnight Services deadline
  • December 25 – FedEx Same Day Services


  • December 14 – Ground deadline
  • December 18 – Three Day Select deadline
  • December 20 – Second Day Air Services deadline
  • December 22 – Next Day Air Services deadline

The Military shipping deadlines come even sooner:


APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092, 094-098, 962-966 and 340

  • November 6 – USPS Retail Ground
  • November 27 – Space Available Mail
  • December 4 – Parcel Airlift Mail
  • December 11 – Priority Mail and First Class Letters and Cards
  • December 18 – Priority Mail Express Military Service


  • November 6 – USPS Retail Ground
  • November 27 – Space Available Mail
  • December 4 – Parcel Airlift Mail and Priority Mail
  • December 4 – First-class Mail Letters and Cards

Important things to keep in mind:

  1. The days leading up to Christmas this year fall on a weekend, meaning limited hours for carriers and you should plan accordingly.
  2. Carriers’ service guarantees change during the holidays. Make sure you’re aware of those changes.
  3. UPS and FedEx can often tack on surcharges during peak times like the holiday season. Visit their websites to be sure of charges.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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