Want Gifts To Get There On Time? Here Are Shipping Guidelines

The U.S. Postal Service projects it will send more than 15 billion – yes, billion — pieces of mail during the holiday season.


Halloween is over, and that means Christmas trees have already begun to spring up inside retail stores. Holiday gift-wrapping has begun, and Santa will soon be ready to hear children’s requests for drones, fidget spinners and other trendy toys.

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As the year’s major gift-giving season ramps up, so too will efforts by logistics companies that will be dealing with massive increases in package volume over the upcoming weeks. Delivery services such as the U.S. Postal Service and Atlanta-based UPS are preparing for shipping increases of at least 5 percent over last year, and USPS projects it will send more than 15 billion pieces of mail during the holiday season.

“Changing market dynamics related to the growth of e-commerce are expected to once again drive the highest surges in demand on Mondays,” FedEx representative Steve Barber said in an email.

In order to keep the operation running smoothly, it’s imperative to set goals and expectations for such a major undertaking. Especially when USPS, FedEx and UPS all agree that this year will see record-breaking mail volumes during the holiday season.

Holiday closings add an extra level of challenge to logistics teams trying to get packages delivered on time. Shipping will be available throughout Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but Christmas Day (and sometimes Christmas Eve) are nonworking days for some shippers.

In order to help you prepare, WABE has compiled a list of shipping deadlines supplied by USPS, FedEx and UPS to ensure packages arrive before Christmas Day:

USPS has also prepared a list of deadlines for shipping to or from overseas military locations:

Nowadays, shipping services no longer have a busiest single day for shipping.

According to USPS, due to increases in online shopping and early shopping for gifts, the busiest times at the mailbox and the post office will be between Dec. 18 and 24. And in order to speed up deliveries and improve service, USPS will be delivering packages seven days a week.

DHL did not respond to requests for information by time of publish.