The Ultimate Holiday Shipping Calendar
The Ultimate Holiday Shipping Calendar
June 30, 2017
The holiday season is traditionally a time of good tidings, family togetherness, and last-minute shopping, followed by packaging up and delivering gifts in time. Luckily, that last part is easily avoidable. Every mail carrier has deadlines for each type of holiday shipping it offers. If you often worry about getting holiday cards and gifts to recipients on time, take a look at these cut-off dates for the next holiday season.
The Inside Scoop on Holiday Carrier Deadlines
Keep in mind that while mail carriers all tend to have similar shipping options, they have different names for those options. You can drop off your package at FedEx, UPS or the USPS on December 23 and have it delivered by December 25. The only difference is that with FedEx, you're getting standard overnight shipping; with UPS, you're using next day air; and with the USPS, you're choosing Priority Mail Express. These three different mail carriers use three different shipping option names but have the exact same deadline. To keep from getting mixed up, you may want to learn the holiday deadlines and avoid worrying about the names. You can identify the name when you actually purchase your shipping option and give your mail to the holiday carrier.
The December 23 deadline is the closest you can cut it for December 25th delivery, and it costs the most as a result. When you get that close to Christmas, every day counts, and FedEx and UPS both offer less expensive two-day shipping options with a December 22nd deadline. FedEx offers both its ground and home delivery services with a December 21st deadline, which is the same as the Priority Mail deadline for the USPS. Despite its name, the deadline for UPS three-day select shipping is December 18 — four days prior to its two-day option — due to the weekend. For holiday cards, the first class mail deadline through the USPS is December 19.
Getting Your Shipments Ready to Go
Getting your holiday gifts to the recipients by Christmas is important, but it's just as important to get them there in one piece. If you're worried about damage to your holiday gifts, purchasing a few shipping supplies goes a long way. The most important thing is finding the correct packaging for your holiday gifts. Some types of packaging have names that reference their intended type of mail, such as books or music; however, it's just as easy to use packaging dimensions when you choose a box for a gift. Base the packaging you choose on the size of the item, while leaving enough room for packing materials, if necessary.
Packing materials can be used to wrap items and to fill the box. Gift wrap your items before you put them in their boxes. Filling the box is simple, just pack it as much as possible. The less room the item has to move, the less likely it is to get damaged during holiday shipping.
Location Plays a Part
Check the carrier location closest to you to verify the availability of specific shipping services, such as overnight delivery. FedEx, for example, allows senders to send mail overnight only to locations within their overnight service area. If it's close to a deadline, check the pickup time at the mail carrier location. Dropping your mail off before that time can save you money on shipping or get your mail to the recipient a day sooner. If you plan to ship anything internationally, send it well in advance, as the delivery time frame is significantly longer.
When it comes to holiday shipping, preparation makes all the difference. Save yourself money and stress this holiday season by getting your gifts packaged up and sent out by the deadline of your mail carrier of choice.
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