Dec 13, 2023 - Economy

When to ship Christmas gifts with UPS, FedEx and USPS

Workers in a warehouse surrounded by boxes

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Time is running out to ship gifts and have them delivered by Christmas morning.

Why it matters: Some holiday shipping deadlines are slightly earlier than last year because Christmas falls on a Monday.

The big picture: The nation's largest carriers recommend specific days to ship gifts in order to have them delivered before Christmas, but delays can still happen.

  • After the recommended dates, consumers should expect to pay extra for expedited delivery.

USPS Christmas deadlines 2023

Details: The Postal Service lists the following "recommended shipping deadlines for expected delivery before Dec. 25" on its website:

  • 5-day Ground Advantage and First-Class Mail: Saturday, Dec. 16
  • Priority Mail: Monday, Dec. 18
  • Priority Mail Express: Wednesday, Dec. 20

Of note: USPS says the last scheduled delivery day is Saturday, Dec. 23 for ground, first class and priority mail.

  • The last scheduled delivery day is Sunday, Dec. 24 for Priority Mail Express if holiday premium is paid.

UPS Christmas shipping deadlines 2023

UPS said these are the recommended last days to ship for Dec. 23 delivery:

  • UPS Ground: Check the UPS website for time estimates
  • UPS 3-Day Select: Tuesday, Dec. 19
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Wednesday, Dec. 20 (or Dec. 21 with Saturday delivery options)
  • UPS Next Day Air: Thursday, Dec. 21 (or Dec. 22 with Saturday delivery options)

Note: UPS says there will be no pickup or delivery service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but that UPS Express Critical service is available.

FedEx deadlines for Christmas 2023

The following are FedEx's 2023 shipping deadlines for holiday packages:

  • FedEx Ground Economy: Wednesday, Dec. 13
  • FedEx Ground and Home: Friday, Dec. 15 for five-day transit time
  • FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 3Day Freight: Tuesday, Dec. 19
  • FedEx 2Day: Wednesday, Dec. 20
  • FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours: Thursday, Dec. 21 (Dec. 22 with Saturday delivery selected)
  • FedEx SameDay: Friday, Dec. 22

Between the lines: FedEx has different ground and freight deadlines based on origin and destination.

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