USPS deadlines for the 2018 holiday shipping season

File photo courtesy of Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Christmas is almost here, and the U.S. Postal Service is gearing up for its busiest week of the holiday season.

The agency expects to process and deliver nearly three billion pieces of mail, including packages, this week alone. Overall, the USPS will deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and more than 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day!

The USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities; to handle the holiday surge, the agency expanded Sunday delivery in December. Carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas day in some areas.

With that, there is still time to get your holiday cards and packages mailed in time for Christmas. Here are the Postal Service’s recommended deadlines*:

  • 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 dates aren’t guaranteed, the agency notes

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.

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