Holiday shipping deadlines: What you need to know


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — If you want to get those gifts out to your loved ones just in time for Christmas, now is the time to get everything packed and prepared for the post office.

The holidays traditionally have been the busiest season of the year for gift-shippers, but the pandemic made the situation even worse. With fewer people meeting in person, shipping volume increased.

The United States Postal Service said last year’s holiday season was one of the busiest they’ve ever seen, processing 1.1 billion packages.

This year, USPS is making an all-out push to get packages delivered on time. The postal service hired an additional 40,000 holiday workers to help manage the influx of packages.

In addition, “We have added 112 package sorters,” said Becky Hernandez, with the USPS. “They process packages about 12 times faster than manual sorting. Last year, we mostly had manual sorting.”

If you’re looking to get packages from point A to point B before Christmas with USPS, Dec. 15 is the deadline for retail ground service.

UPS is offering a three-day select service, which ensures that gifts are shipped by Dec. 24. The deadline for that is Dec. 21. The UPS website also lists deadlines for ground shipping in various areas.

FedEx’s last day to ground ship Christmas packages to arrive before the holiday is Dec. 15.

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