It’s already late November, and if you’re one of the millions of people buying gifts on Cyber Monday, you can count on the Postal Service to get your packages to their destination in time for the holiday season.
Shipping times for the 2021 holidays
No matter the time of year, on-time package deliveries start with the customer – and knowing when to ship your packages is essential.
The Postal Service recommends the following postage and dispatch times for expected delivery by December 25 to Air / Army Post Office / Fleet Post Office / Diplomatic Post Office (APO / FPO / DPO) and national addresses:
- December 9 – APO / FPO / DPO (all postal codes) Priority Mail and First Class Mail
- December 15 – USPS Retail Ground Service
- December 16 – APO / FPO / DPO (except postal code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military Service
- December 17 – First class mail service (including greeting cards)
- December 17 – First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- December 18 – Priority mail service
- December 23 – Priority Mail Express Service
Alaska to / from the continental United States
- December 18 – First Class Mail
- December 18 – Priority mail
- December 21 – Priority Mail Express
Hawaii to / from mainland
- December 17 – Priority Mail and First Class Mail
- December 21 – Priority Mail Express
Not a guarantee, unless stated otherwise. Dates are for estimated delivery by December 25th. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, date and time of post office acceptance and other conditions. Certain restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express 2 shipments posted December 22-25, the money-back guarantee only applies if the shipment has not been delivered, or if delivery has not been attempted, within two business days.
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or diplomatic posts overseas, the Postal Service is offering a reduced price of $ 21.15 on its larger, flat-rate priority mail box. Price includes $ 1.50 per box discount for mail sent to APO / FPO / DPO destinations worldwide.
To handle this year’s holiday shipments, the Postal Service is expanding Sunday deliveries to high-volume parcel locations. Letter carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional charge in some locations.
As a reminder, temporary price increases are also in effect until 12:01 a.m. Central Time on December 26. The increase is affecting both retail and corporate customers for some of our most popular shipping products, which also include military shipping.
International products are not affected. These temporary rates will allow the postal service to remain competitive while providing the agency with the necessary revenue to cover additional costs in anticipation of peak season volume increases such as levels recorded in 2020.
Here are the temporary price increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground, and First-Class Package Service:
- Fixed-rate boxes and envelopes for priority mail and priority express mail: 75 cents
- Zones 1-4, 0-10 pounds: 25 cents
- Zones 5-9, 0-10 pounds: 75 cents
- Zones 1-4, 11-20 pounds: $ 1.50
- Zones 5-9, 11-20 pounds: $ 3
- Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs: $ 2.50
- Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs: $ 5.00
- First Class Package Service: 30 cents
A price calculator by zone is available online. A complete list of business products and prices is also available online.
The temporary adjustment is part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the postal service has some of the lowest postal rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer excellent shipping values.
Ship from home
Don’t want to go to the Post Office to drop off your special gift? You can stay at home – comfortable and socially distant – by going online. Visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature to help you ship that special holiday gift, order free priority mailboxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage, and even request a free next day parcel pickup.
Boxes are delivered to the United States with your regular mail, usually within seven to 10 business days. Exclusions apply. For details and to order, visit store.usps.com/store/home.
The busiest time of the season for the postal service begins two weeks before Christmas. Customer traffic at all post offices is expected to increase steadily from the week of December 6. The week of December 13-18 is expected to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.
La Poste offers shipping advice in 10 videos “How? ‘Or’ What“Guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to properly address and ship packages, as well as how to wrap a box to keep items safe.
Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and / or more than half an inch thick cannot be dropped into a collection box or left with a courier if you are using stamps for postage. Instead, take them to a retailer at one of our post offices or use one of our self-service kiosks to weigh your packages and print shipping labels.
News and additional information – including all national, international, and military dispatch and dispatch deadlines – can be found in the Postal Service’s Holiday Newsroom: usps.com/holidaynews.
The Postal Service generally does not collect tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.