Shipping a package? Better do it this week; here’s deadlines

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Carriers are encouraging gift givers to ship their packages this week to ensure delivery before Christmas Day.

The holiday season is already a bustling time of year, but with the number of people opting to shop online, COVID-19 impacts and the possibility of bad weather, carriers with FedEx, UPS and the USPS are hiring extra help and extending hours to ensure all packages are delivered before the holiday.

“Online shopping and shipping volumes this holiday season are expected to break records. The exponential growth of e-commerce, underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue during the 2020 holiday season, with more packages hitting our network than ever before,” said FedEx communications advisor Heather Wilson.

FedEx is projecting a 22% increase in package delivery this year from 2019 and the postal service hired about 800 additional employees for the holiday.

“This is our season; we work really hard preparing for the holidays in the beginning of the year. It’s really a bingo-bongo moment for us and everybody is on board to get packages delivered to our customers on time before the holidays,” said USPS spokesperson Naddia Dhalai.

Peak season for carries started around Thanksgiving and will continue into the new year. To handle the influx of packages, USPS will extend hours locally at the Beavercreek and Washington Twp. locations. Both locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.

Despite this year’s unprecedented package volume, deadlines for USPS haven’t changed tremendously from deadlines in the past. The deadline for ground shipping to guarantee delivery before Christmas is Dec. 15. Dec. 18 is the last day for first class service, Dec. 19 is the last day for priority and Dec. 23 is the last day to ship for priority overnight services.

“We ask customers to ship as soon as possible and make sure they’re meeting the deadlines because if they do miss a deadline that will possibly delay their package. If you haven’t now visit the post office or if you don’t want to leave your home you can schedule a pick up by your carrier by going online, print the postage, and your carrier will come and pick it up for you,” Dhalai said.

UPS isn’t offering its UPS Next Day Air services on Christmas Eve. Packages picked on that day will be delivered the following Monday on Dec. 28.

While carriers are encouraging people to ship early to avoid delays, Sri Sridhar, CEO of package tracking company, said that this year will be the worst on record for holiday shipping delays.

On average 4% to 6% of packages will be delayed throughout the year. “During the holidays that shoots up to like 8% to10%. This year there are going to be portions of the country the average is going to be 14% to 15% range and there are going to be portions of the country where there will be delays creep up pass 20% of shipments, so that’s one in five packages,” he said.

Since the start of the pandemic, carriers were deemed essential workers and continued to work while stay at home orders kept many in doors. Dhalai said this has worked in their favor to prepare them for holiday season during a pandemic.

“It’s been a rough year for us and for a lot folks around the country. They’ve been working nonstop during the pandemic during the election mail season, and now we have the peak season. I think we have a lot of great folks on our team that continue to push and continue to deliver to ever customer,” she said.

Shipping Deadlines:


Dec. 15 – UPS Ground

Dec. 21 – UPS 3 Day Select

Dec. 22 – UPS 2nd Day Air

Dec. 23 – UPS Next Day Air


Dec. 15: FedEx Ground and Home Delivery

Dec. 21: FedEx Express Saver

Dec. 22: FedEx 2Day

Dec. 23: FedEx Standard and Priority Overnight

U.S. Postal Service

Dec. 15: USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 18: First-Class Mail

Dec. 19: Priority Mail

Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express

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