The U.S. Postal Service has released deadlines for the holiday season, including the Dec. 20 deadline for first-class and priority mail, and Dec. 22 for priority express mail.
The dates are estimates for delivery before Dec. 25, but actual delivery still varies on several conditions.
The post office’s busiest time is two weeks before Christmas.
Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the postal service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.
The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. During this week alone, the postal service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of first-class mail, including greeting cards.
Packages can be shipped online at usps.com. With the Click-N-Ship feature, consumers can order free priority mail boxes, print shipping labels, buy postage and request next-day package pickup. The postal service anticipates Monday, Dec. 17, to be the busiest day online. Nearly 105 million people are predicted to visit the USPS website between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Deadlines to note:
Tuesday, Dec. 11: Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, Diplomatic Post Office priority mail and first-class mail
Friday, Dec. 14: USPS retail ground
Tuesday, Dec. 18: Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, Diplomatic Post Office priority mail express
Thursday, Dec. 20: First-class mail (including greeting cards)
Thursday, Dec. 20: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Thursday, Dec. 20: Hawaii, Alaska to mainland priority mail and first-class mail
Thursday, Dec. 20: Priority mail
Saturday, Dec. 22: Hawaii, Alaska to mainland priority mail express
Saturday, Dec. 22: Priority mail express