More people will be exchanging gifts in person this year than they did in December 2020, but delivery services are still expecting a busy holiday season. The USPS extended its standard delivery times on October 1, and FedEx is already on track to deliver 100 million more packages between Black Friday and Christmas than it did this time two years ago.
Anyone who's planning on mailing gifts this year doesn't have much time to waste. The shipping deadlines for December 25, 2021, are right around the corner. Whether you're shipping through UPS, FedEx, or the USPS, these are the dates you need to know to make sure your packages get to the people on your list by Christmas.
FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2021
The deadline for FedEx Ground Economy [PDF], the company's slowest option and often the most cost-effective one for small packages, is coming up on Thursday, December 9. Customers who miss that date have until Wednesday, December 15 to mail their gifts through FedEx's additional Ground services. To ship via FedEx Express Saver, drop off your packages by Tuesday, December 21. The deadline for FedEx's 2Day & 2Day AM service is Wednesday, December 22, and Thursday, December 23 is the last date for taking advantage of FO, PO, SO, Extra Hours. Hardcore procrastinators have until Friday, December 24 (a.k.a. Christmas Eve) to use FedEx Same Day, but be warned that deliveries may move slower than promised the closer we get to Saturday, December 25.
UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2021
The last day to use UPS Ground shipping [PDF] to mail Christmas gifts depends on the size of your package and how far it has to travel. (You can use this tool to estimate the holiday deadline.) If you're sending packages via UPS 3 Day Select, you have until Tuesday, December 21 to get to a UPS Store. The final day for UPS 2nd Day Air is Wednesday, December 22, and it's Thursday, December 23 for UPS Next Day Air services.
USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2021
Ship your packages through USPS' Retail Ground service by Wednesday, December 15 to ensure they arrive by Christmas Day. To use their First-Class Mail service, find time to get to the post office by Friday, December 17. Christmas gifts traveling via Priority Mail will need to be sent by Saturday, December 18. The last date to use the USPS for gifts this Christmas season is Thursday, December 23—the deadline of their Priority Mail Express service.