2020 Christmas shipping deadlines: Here's when you need to mail gifts

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 30: A FedEx worker sorts packages being uloaded from a truck on a conveyor belt at the FedEx Oakland Airport sort facility November 30, 2005 in Oakland, California. FedEx and UPS are beginning to feel large volumes of packages (Justin Sullivan)

The pressure to deliver those holiday gifts on time has increased exponentially for retailers and carriers as the coronavirus pandemic has more people shopping online and requiring delivery services in order to receive their items.

To try and avoid overwhelming networks, which would cause a delay in deliveries, retailers have started their holiday sales months ahead of schedule, ramped up hiring efforts, and expanding options like curbside pickup.

With the number of coronavirus cases rising in the U.S. and the incoming colder weather keeping people out of stores, there may be even more strain on shipping networks in the coming weeks.

However, FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service are doing their part to help shoppers navigate the busy shopping season by providing recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before Dec. 25.

Here are the shipping deadlines for the 2020 holiday season to watch out for by carrier:


FedEx SmartPost: Dec. 9
FedEx Home Delivery: Dec.15
FedEx Ground: Dec.15
FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 21
FedEx 2Day: Dec. 22
FedEx Extra Hours: Dec. 23
FedEx Standard Overnight: Dec. 23
FedEx Priority Overnight: Dec. 23
FedEx First Overnight: Dec. 23
FedEx SameDay: Dec. 25
FedEx SameDay City Priority: Dec. 25
FedEx SameDay City Direct: Dec. 25


For packages arriving by Dec. 24:
UPS Ground: Dec. 15 
UPS 3 Day Select: Dec. 21
UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 22 
UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 23

U.S. Postal Service

USPS Retail Ground: Dec. 15 
First Class Mail: Dec. 18 
Priority Mail: Dec. 19 
Priority Mail Express: Dec. 23

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