USPS holiday shipping deadlines

The U.S. Postal Service is facing its share of challenges, but this holiday season, it is business as usual.

Anyone planning to ship packages should be aware of shipping deadlines which vary depending on the method of shipment and destination. To ship your package, you can visit your local post office (some services may only be available at select locations) or go online to, where you can pay postage, print shipping labels and request free package pickup service for postage-paid Priority Mail, Express Mail and more.

Here are some of the seasonal shipping deadlines. For more complete information, visit


• Thursday, Dec. 15: Parcel Post

• Tuesday, Dec. 20: First-Class Mail

• Wednesday, Dec. 21: Priority Mail service

• Thursday, Dec. 22: Express Mail service (Some Express Mail destinations may have extended service commitments)

Note: Domestic Parcel Post is generally the least expensive shipping option. Priority Mail flat-rate service (two days in most cases) ranges from $4.95 for a small envelope to $14.95 for a large box. Express Mail starts at $18.30 for a flat rate envelope.


Deadlines for international shipping, including Canada, range from Friday, Dec. 2 to Wednesday, Dec. 21. Check your local post office for details.


• Saturday, Nov. 26: Space Available Mail (Mail at Parcel Post prices transported by ground domestically then by air on a space available basis to overseas destinations.)

• Saturday, Dec. 3: Parcel Airlift Mail (Thursday, Dec. 1 for APO/FPO AE ZIP 093)

• Saturday, Dec. 10: First Class Mail Letters & Cards/ Priority Mail (Dec. 3 for APO/FPO AE ZIP 093)

• Saturday, Dec. 17: Express Mail Military Service (not available for APO/FPO AE ZIP 093)

Note: There is a flat-rate price of $12.95 on packages sent to military service personnel worldwide. Free military care kits are available for military families sending packages overseas by calling 800-610-8734.