The U.S. Postal Service urges the public to plan now to make sure their holiday packages arrive on time.
The Postal Service always encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early. This year is no different.
The Postal Service begins planning for peak holiday season every January. To help handle the expected volume increase, the Postal Service has the ability to flex its network to meet the significant volume increases expected this year. This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes, and working through 644,000 employees.
Seasonal workers are hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning November 29 to locations with high package volumes. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities.
Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of December 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.
Skip the Trip and Ship Online
Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. They can visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup.
2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by December 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses*:
Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service
Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express
Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 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 December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.