FedEx, UPS and USPS holiday shipping deadlines are here

Published: December 14, 2021 4:19 PM EST
Updated: December 14, 2021 6:08 PM EST

Christmas is less than two weeks away and you don’t have much time to get your gifts in the mail so they arrive in time for the holiday.

There are a number of shipping deadlines coming up this week.

The first one is Wednesday, but the United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx are telling everyone to get your gifts in the mail ASAP. The sooner you get it in the mail, the more money you’ll save.

It’s the busiest time of year for the USPS, both inside and out.

Jack Bernardo is getting ahead of the holiday rush, mailing a gift to his daughter who is in the Navy stationed overseas.

The earlier you get your packages in the mail the more likely they’ll make it under your loved one’s tree by Christmas morning.

USPS says they got ready for this peak season back in February by hiring and training new workers, preparing for tens of thousands of packages coming through the processing plant daily.

James Chambers is the postmaster of USPS Fort Myers. He said, “I know that last year we processed about 1.3 billion packages through our peak season nationally. Fort Myers city, we were 1.3 million. If you were to divide our 30 days through that. That’s a lot of packages.”

Wednesday, Dec. 15, is the deadline for retail ground service.

That starts at nearly $8 depending on what you’re sending.

December 15 is also the FedEx Ground deadline, starting at almost $9 for a padded envelope.

And shipping an extra small box through UPS will also run about $9.

The price only goes up the longer you wait.

Check out The website estimates how much it would cost you to send your package according to its dimensions and weight.

It’ll also tell you which service and mail carrier will save you the most money this season.


Continental U.S.:

  • December 15: USPS retail ground service
  • December 17: First-class mail service (including holiday greeting cards)
  • December 17: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • December 18: Priority mail service
  • December 23: Priority mail express service

USPS For Air/Army/Fleet/Diplomatic post office addresses:

  • November 6: Retail ground service
  • December 9 : Priority mail and first-class mail
  • December 16: Priority mail express military service

USPS Alaska and Hawaii:

  • December 17: Hawaii to/from mainland – priority mail and first-class mail
  • December 18: Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – first-class and priority mail
  • December 21: Alaska to/from Continental U.S. and Hawaii to/from mainland – priority mail express


  • December 9: ground economy
  • December 15: ground and home delivery
  • December 21: express saver
  • December 22: two day and two-day am
  • December 23: overnight services
  • December 24: same day


  • Ground shipping, check the website for a quote
  • December 22: second-day air services
  • December 23: next-day air services
  • December 25: no pickup service, UPS holiday
  • Note: UPS service guarantee still suspended for some services due to COVID-19

In-store pickup

When in doubt, try reserving what you want online and picking it up in-store yourself. WalmartTargetBest Buy and other retailers offer this option.


Prime members have the largest next-day delivery selection of any retailer in the U.S. Amazon will deliver packages through Dec. 24.


Walmart offers free two-day delivery on millions of items with no delivery fee. Free next-day delivery on orders of $35 or more is also available in qualifying ZIP codes. Walmart even recently extended its delivery times two hours to 10 p.m.

If you sign up for Walmart+, you can also get unlimited free delivery from your store, free delivery with no order minimum and more.

Best Buy

Best Buy offers free next-day delivery on qualifying products (a $35 minimum purchase is required) and free standard shipping on orders $35 and up on qualifying items.

Plus, become a Best Buy Totaltech member for free two-day shipping and more.