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Carly Lutz

2018 Holiday Cutoffs and Deadlines for UPS, USPS, and FedEx

by Carly Lutz
October 19, 2018

If you're using UPS, USPS, or FedEx to deliver any of your holiday packages, you'll need to know their holiday cut-offs. Keep in mind that while carriers will try their hardest to abide by these cut-offs, it's always smart to add a day or two to your own shipping cut-offs to account for inclement weather.

2018 UPS Mail-By for U.S. Deliveries

Note the following last days to ship to help ensure delivery before Christmas Day for the following service levels:

  • December 16 - UPS Ground
    UPS doesn't officially specify cut-off dates for UPS Ground. Given their average transit times and comparing with other competing services, the 16th is a good approximation of a cut-off. Still, we recommend confirming Ground delivery times with your UPS representative.
  • December 18 - Deadline for UPS 3 Day Select shipments. (Most deliveries will be on December 22nd)
  • December 20 - Deadline for UPS 2nd Day Air shipments. (delivery on Monday, December 24)
  • December 21 - Deadline for UPS Next Day Air shipments (delivery on Monday, December 24)
2018 USPS Mail-By dates U.S. Deliveries
Domestic:
  • December 14 - Deadline for USPS Retail Ground shipments
  • December 18 - Deadline for DNDC Drop Ship
  • December 20 - Deadline for USPS First Class Mail and Priority Mail shipments.
  • December 21 - Deadline for DDU Drop Ship
  • December 22 - Deadline for USPS Priority Express Mail shipments.
Alaska:
  • December 3 - Deadline for USPS Retail Ground shipments
  • December 11 - Deadline for DNDC Drop Ship
  • December 20 - Deadline for USPS First Class Mail and Priority Mail shipments.
  • December 22 - Deadline for USPS Priority Express Mail shipments.
Hawaii:
From Hawaii ToFirst Class/PriorityPriority/Express
U.S. MainlandDec 20Dec 22
HawaiiDec 21Dec 22
Guam & SaipanDec 13Dec 19
American SamoaDec 06Dec 14
Military APOs and FPOsDec 06Dec 13
InternationalDec 06Dec 13
Holiday Season Import Dates:
  • December 1st - Deadline to send parcel post packages, letters, flats, and small packages via surface transportation
  • December 8th - Deadline to send priority packages, letters, flats, and small packages via air transportation
  • December 20th - Deadline to send Express Mail Service items (any shape)
2018 FedEx Mail-By dates for U.S. Deliveries:
  • December 10 - Deadline for FedEx SmartPost shipments.
  • December 14 - Deadline for FedEx Ground shipments.
  • December 17 - Deadline for FedEx Home Delivery shipments.
  • December 19 - Deadline for FedEx Express Saver shipments.
  • December 20 - Deadline for FedEx 2-Day and 2-Day A.M. shipments.
  • December 21 - Deadline for FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, and First Overnight shipments.
  • December 25 - Deadline for FedEx SameDay shipments.
    Even though FedEx offers such a close deadline, SameDay isn't a 100% guarantee that it will arrive during the 25th. SameDay service is also limited by distance.

For all international shipments, contact your representatives. Depending on distance between origin and destination, as well as ever-changing customs requirements, it's a good idea to get your carrier to suggest a ship-by date for your specific international shipments.