Santa Claus with presents

Every year, all shipping carriers publish suggested deadlines for sending out packages so that they will arrive in time before Christmas. Almost every year there will be some winter storm weather that will impact delivery times in regions of the US.

However, this year with the COVID pandemic, shippers should also expect additional delays due to regional lockdowns and higher than normal parcel volume. In other words, waiting until the last day to order or ship items is probably not very wise.

Early indicators for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales show big jumps in online commerce and courier companies have been trying to secure as many delivery vans and logistics workers as possible to handle the extraordinary 2020 holiday season.

Here is the latest information of suggested shipping deadlines, broken down by the three main shipping carriers in the US. For UPS and FedEx, shippers should consult with the courier companies on international deadlines as they will vary from country to country.

For the U.S. Postal Service, this list contains military and international shipping deadlines. However, USPS does not control foreign postal services or the military transport of mail and parcels to military addresses. Therefore, it is advised not to wait until the last minute for shipping holiday packages to international addresses.

Many foreign operators are impacted by COVID lockdowns and restrictions and we maintain a continuously updated post regarding operational challenges around the world.

U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service does not offer a delivery guarantee on its shipping services, except for USPS Priority Mail Express and Global Express Guaranteed.

However, there are limitations on the money back guarantee for these two services based on shipping date, weather conditions, and in the case of international shipments, destination country operational challenges due to COVID lockdowns and restrictions.

Contiguous US (Lower 48 States)

  • USPS Retail Ground Service – December 15
  • First Class Mail Service – December 18
  • Priority Mail Service – December 19
  • Priority Mail Express Service – December 23

Alaska and Puerto Rico

  • First Class Mail Service – December 18
  • Priority Mail Service – December 19
  • Priority Mail Express Service – December 21

Hawaii

  • First Class Mail Service – December 15
  • Priority Mail Service – December 15
  • Priority Mail Express Service – December 21

Military Mail

  • Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) – December 4
  • First Class Mail Service – December 11 (Exception for APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 093 which is December 9)
  • Priority Mail Service – December 11 (Exception for APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 093 which is December 9)
  • Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS) – December 18 (Exception for APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 093 – Service Not Available)

International Mail

  • First Class Package International Service – December 7 (Exception for Africa, Central & South America which is November 30)
  • Priority Mail International Service – December 7 (Exception for Africa, Central & South America which is November 30)
  • Priority Mail Express International Service – December 14 (Exception for Africa, Central & South America which is December)
  • Global Express Mail Guaranteed Service
    • Africa – December 19
    • Asia/Pacific Rim – December 19
    • Australia/New Zealand – December 17
    • Canada – December 22
    • Caribbean – December 22
    • Central & South America – December 17
    • Europe – December 17
    • Mexico – December 22
    • Middle East – December 19

UPS

The UPS delivery service guarantee continues to be suspended for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID. UPS Next Day Air Saver and UPS 2nd Day Air A.M. deliveries are extended to end-of-day for the same reason.

The following suggested deadlines apply for all U.S. zip codes, subject to availability of service to that zip code. Please check UPS on the current status of delivery times for international destinations.

  • UPS Ground – December 15
  • UPS 3 Day Select – December 21
  • UPS 2nd Day Air – December 22
  • UPS Next Day Air – December 23

FedEx

The FedEx delivery service guarantee continues to be suspended for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID.

The following suggested deadlines apply for all U.S. zip codes, subject to availability of service to that zip code. Please check FedEx on the current status of delivery times for international destinations.

  • FedEx SmartPost – December 9
  • FedEx Home Delivery – December 15
  • FedEx Ground – December 15
  • FedEx Express Saver – December 21
  • FedEx 2 Day – December 22
  • FedEx Overnight – December 23

This information was last updated on December 1, 2020.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter Today

Stay in touch with the latest business insights for your online business

We do not share your information and you can unsubscribe anytime

Connect With Us And Other Small Business Owners

Please head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with relevant news and business insights for your online business.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *