2019 Holiday Shipping Deadlines: USPS, FedEx and UPS

Posted on Nov 5, 2019 By tpawelka Share:

What are the last days to send USPS, FedEx and UPS packages for the holidays?

Back in 2017, package delays were consumers' biggest holiday stressor with more than 35% saying it was their #1 concern. The National Retail Federation expects online and non-store sales to increase in 2019 between 11%-14%, or $162.6 billion to $166.9 billion, up from $146.5 billion in 2018. Are you holiday-ready? Make sure you get everything shipped on time with the deadlines below (or risk losing valuable life-long customers).

USPS® Domestic Shipping Deadlines

Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past. Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 9, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 16 - 22 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

  • Retail Ground: Dec. 14
  • First-Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces): Dec. 20
  • Priority Mail®: Dec. 21
  • Priority Mail Express®: Dec. 23

For a full list of USPS deadlines check out the USPS press release.

FedEx® Shipping Deadlines

FedEx waived the holiday surcharge this year for residential deliveries, which will help cut down on shipping costs. You can manage your costs even more by shipping early and using FedEx Smart Post® or FedEx Ground® for your deliveries.

Pro Tip: FedEx SmartPost is a cost-efficient way to deliver light-weight packages domestically because it uses the USPS delivery network. Don't forget to check out this service.

  • FedEx SmartPost®: Dec. 9
  • FedEx Ground®: Dec. 16
  • FedEx Home Delivery®: Dec. 16
  • FedEx Express Savor®: Dec. 19
  • FedEx 2Day®: Dec. 20
  • FedEx Same Day®: Dec. 25

For a full list of FedEx deadlines check out the FedEx 2019 Last Days to Ship.
Find information on 2019 FedEx Surcharges.

UPS® Shipping Deadlines

Like FedEx, UPS also waived their holiday shipping surcharges on residential deliveries, which can help lower your shipping costs. UPS has compiled some tips for shippers this holiday season that should make the holidays less stressful for you and your recipients.

Pro Tip: With Thanksgiving on November 28 this year, peak shopping and shipping season is a week shorter than usual. Here are some tips for businesses that experience a surge in orders during the peak holiday season: 1) Encourage your customers to shop early. For example, you might consider making special offers to encourage early shopping. 2) Review your fulfillment operations to be sure you can efficiently manage a late spike in orders.

  • UPS Ground: Dec. 13
  • 3-Day Select: Dec. 19
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 20
  • UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 23

For a full list of UPS deadlines check out the UPS Holiday Shipping Portal.
Find more information on UPS Peak Surcharges.

Find even more tips and information on best practices for holiday shipping in these recent resources:

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