This is how long you have to procrastinate: Holiday shipping deadlines

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer

HOUSTON - The holiday season is not the time to procrastinate, but just how long can you wait to shipping those gifts to make it there on time for Christmas?

The U.S. Postal Service has released the mailing deadlines for the expected delivery of cards and gifts to your loved ones this holiday season.

For expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses, including Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office:
Nov. 6 – APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 4 – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 18 – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
Dec. 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 20 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
Dec. 20    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 22    – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22    – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22    – Priority Mail Express

The USPS notes that the above dates are not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. 

For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.

Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past, according to USPS. Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. 

Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. 

The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. During this week alone, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards.

USPS suggests that customers check out options on USPS.com.

Other shipping deadlines

Here are some links to other shipping companies and retailers about their deadlines.

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