Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2021: USPS, FedEx and UPS

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The holiday shopping season has begun early this year, hastened by supply chain issues that threaten to delay packages and turn your grin into a Grinch.

In this article, I’ll detail some major shipping deadlines to help you send your packages in time to have them delivered before December 25, 2021.

Here Are the Holiday Shipping Deadlines at Major Shipping Carriers

Let’s look at the 2021 holiday shipping schedules for the major shipping companies: the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), FedEx and the United Parcel Service (UPS). The following deadlines apply to the contiguous U.S. states (the lower 48):


ServicesSend-By Dates
Retail Ground ShippingWednesday, December 15
First Class Mail ServiceFriday, December 17
Priority Mail ServiceSaturday, December 18
Priority Mail Express ServiceThursday, December 23

See for international shipping deadlines for the holidays.


ServicesSend-By Dates
Ground shipping and home deliveryWednesday, December 15
Ground EconomyThursday, December 9
Freight PriorityWednesday, December 15
Freight EconomyThursday, December 9
Freight DirectWednesday, December 15

See for international shipping deadlines for the holidays.


ServicesSend-By Dates
Ground shipmentsWithin 5 days
3 Day Select shipmentsTuesday, December 21
2nd Day Air servicesWednesday, December 22
Next Day Air services Saturday, December 23

See for international shipping deadlines for the holidays.

Because of expected shipping delays, it’s a good idea to shop earlier than you normally would this year, according to money expert Clark Howard.

“You want to start shopping extra early and be as scientific as you can about prices as we move through the Christmas shopping season,” Clark says. “It’s up to you and me to do more legwork than we have in the past online and in person, tracking prices and availability of goods.”

Want to know when to save? Read Clark’s holiday shopping predictions.

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