Holiday Shipping Deadlines Are Approaching: Delivery Dates for FedEx, UPS, USPS

Time is running out to make sure your packages and holiday cards are mailed in time to arrive by Dec. 25

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The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS released their 2021 holiday shipping deadlines in October. The dates from the nation's largest carriers are the recommended last days to ship packages and holiday cards in order for them to arrive by Dec. 25.

Sending them early is still urged. With supply chain issues already causing delays and complications for holiday shopping and the postal service intentionally delaying delivery times as part of a restructuring plan, the usual shipping rush may be more complex than usual.

Wednesday, Dec. 15, marks the first deadline: It's the last day for ground delivery with FedEx and USPS.

Below, the major deadlines for each of the services:

US Postal Service

  • December 15: USPS retail ground service
  • December 17: First-class mail service (including holiday greeting cards)
  • December 17: First-class packages
  • December 18: Priority Mail
  • December 23: Priority Mail Express

For more, including international and military mail deadlines, see the full list here.


  • December 21: 3-Day Select
  • December 22: 2nd Day Air services
  • December 23: Next-day Air services
  • For ground shipping, UPS says to check the website for a quote

For the full chart of UPS options, including international shipping, click here.


  • December 9: Ground & Freight economy
  • December 15: Ground & Home delivery
  • December 21: Express Saver
  • December 22: 2Day & 2Day-AM
  • December 23: Overnight services
  • December 24: Same-day services

For more options, see the full FedEx list here.

Dates may vary for Alaska and Hawaii in all cases. Visit each site for guidelines.

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