Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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USPS Releases Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Are you ready for all of your holiday shipping to get done before the various deadlines? The U.S. Postal Service has you covered throughout the holidays – even a local USPS Postmaster said you can count on them to get your packages to their destination in time for all the seasonal celebrations.

But timing is everything, especially when it comes to shipping holiday items. The U.S. Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by December 25th to Air/Army Post Office / Fleet Post Office / Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) and certain domestic addresses, but it is not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted:

  • Dec. 9th   — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 16th — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military


  • Dec. 17th — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 17th — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17th — First-Class Package Service (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19th — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 22nd — Priority Mail Express* service


  • Dec. 2nd   — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – USPS Retail Ground
  • Dec. 18th — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21st — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – Priority Mail Express


  • Dec. 17th – Hawaii to/from mainland – First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21st – Hawaii to/from mainland – Priority Mail Express

The busiest time of the season for the Postal Service begins two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of December 5th. The week of December 12th is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted shipping price of $20.95 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50-per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.

To handle this year’s holiday surge, the Postal Service is expanding Sunday deliveries in high package volume locations. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.

As a reminder, there are temporary price increases in place through 12:01 a.m. CST, Jan 22, 2023. These temporary rates help keep the Postal Service competitive and are similar to adjustments in past years to help cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful peak season.

The temporary adjustment is part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.

RELATED: Registration to Adopt USPS Operation Santa Letters Underway

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