Want Your Holiday Cards and Gifts to Arrive on Time? Here are the Deadlines From USPS

It’s that time of year where most people are out shopping for the holidays. Everyone wants to make sure their holiday cards and gifts arrive to the relevant party in time for the holidays. Recently, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced recommendations for shipping deadlines on holiday cards and gifts to ensure they arrive by Christmas:

  • For USPS Retail Ground Service (excluding Alaska & Hawaii): by December 15th
  • For First-Class Mail Service (excluding Alaska & Hawaii): by December 17th
  • For Priority Mail Service (excluding Alaska & Hawaii): by December 18th
  • For Priority Mail Express Service (excluding Alaska & Hawaii): by December 23rd
  • For those shipping to Alaska by ground, must do so by December 2nd or else send via first-class service by December 18th
  • For those shipping to Hawaii by ground, are recommended to postmark first-class packages by December 17th

Back in August, USPS announced it work have temporary price hikes for holiday shipments starting October 3 and ending December 26th. According to Business Insider the increases range from $0.75 to $5 depending on weight and shipping zone.

Some of the reasons for these deadlines come from the backlogs in Southern California, severe bottlenecks at major US ports which have led to delayed shipments, product shortages and widespread inflation, according to Business Insider. These backlogs have also had a direct impact on many retailers. According to Business Insider, in September data compiled by Freightos found that shipments were taking 83% longer than they had at the same time in pre-pandemic 2019.

USPS has stated that they are prepared for the busy holiday season and have made some investments to ensure all holiday shipments arrive on time, even with all these challenges this year. “We’ve accelerated key processing, logistics and delivery investments to support higher volumes, delivery demands during the holidays and ensure cards, letters and packages arrive on time,” USPS said in a statement in mid-November.

The best advice for holiday shoppers this season is to plan ahead, mail early and remain flexible during these challenging times. If you have any questions or would like to learn more today, reach out to a team member and we would be happy to discuss further with you!

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