Deadlines to Mail those Holiday Season Packages

The 2023 holiday shopping season is approaching fast, and there are important dates and deadlines to know to get packages shipped to their destinations on time for those family celebrations. The following deadline dates cover domestic, international, and military shipping destinations for the United States Postal Service (USPS) to allow for the timely delivery of cards, letters, and packages by December 25.

USPS will not have a peak, or demand, surcharge this holiday season. Within the lower 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), regular holiday shipping and mailing deadlines for USPS are:

  • USPS Ground Advantage – Dec. 16 | Alaska – Dec. 16 | Hawaii – Dec. 16
  • First-Class Mail (including greeting cards) – Dec. 16 | Alaska – Dec. 16 | Hawaii – Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail – Dec. 18 | Alaska – Dec. 18 | Hawaii – Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail Express – Dec. 20 | Alaska – Dec. 20 | Hawaii – Dec. 20

Shipping deadlines for Air/Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO):

  • USPS Ground Advantage – Nov. 6
  • First-Class Mail – Dec. 9
  • Priority Mail – Dec. 9
  • Priority Mail Express Military Service – Dec. 15. Priority Mail Express Military Service is not available for APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 093. 

International Mail deadlines – check here.

For FedEx, the last day for ground economy delivery is Dec. 13, and the last day for ground delivery is Dec. 15. Key shipping deadline dates for FedEx are: 

  • Ground Economy – Dec. 13
  • Home Delivery, Ground – Dec. 15
  • Express Saver, 3 Day Freight – Dec. 19
  • 2 Day – Dec. 20
  • 1 Day Freight, Extra Hours – Dec. 21
  • Same Day – Dec. 22

UPS suggests getting an estimate from its website based on its operating hours, holiday schedule, and operational adjustments.

Preparation is key if you intend to get packages to your loved ones on or before the holidays. Cutoff dates will vary by carrier and method of delivery, but the date range is generally between 5 and 7 business days. Packages are delivered on holidays, and if a letter or package is sent at least a week before the holiday, then the recipient should receive the package the day of or the day before Christmas.