How to make sure your holiday packages arrive on time

Posted at 6:36 AM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 08:05:02-05

Shipping deadlines are fast approaching as the time until Christmas quickly runs out.

Headaches have already ensued for some as complaints following Cyber Monday piled up for shipping giant UPS. Customers have taken to Twitter to air grievances, as UPS has admitted that record package shipments following Cyber Monday slowed package deliveries.

This week they announced that things were returning to normal, adding: “UPS customers can be confident UPS is taking the necessary steps to ensure the network operates with its customary dependable performance throughout the remainder of the holiday season.”

It’s a reminder to all customers that shipping deadlines matter, and a number of the cheapest options have already passed.

In the United States the USPS is still king — local spokeswoman Elizabeth Najduch noted that they’ll ship several billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that includes more than 850 million packages.

Her advice: Do not guess at a zip code! It is a regular issue with last minute shipping, and it can delay a package from arriving on-time. Most post office locations have self-service kiosks, and whether a shipping center has one or not you can always receive help at the desk.

“Make sure your package is cushioned, that you have proper packaging for that so it doesn’t slide around the contents don’t get damaged,” said Najduch, noting you can use free packaging for priority and priority mail express.

If you’re shipping items via USPS this year there are three important dates to remember:

  • Dec. 19th: First Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 20th: Priority Mail
  • Dec. 22nd: Priority Mail Express

UPS doesn’t offer a deadline for UPS Ground deliveries to make a Christmas deadline but most local offices contacted by WXYZ estimated that a safe bet would be December 16th or 17th at the latest. Official deadlines include the following:

  • Dec. 18th: UPS 3-Day Select shipments
  • Dec. 20th: UPS 2nd Day Air shipments
  • Dec. 22nd: UPS Next Day Air shipments

FedEx has the largest variety of deadlines remaining, which include the following:

  • Dec. 15th: FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 18th: FedEx Home Delivery
  • Dec. 19th: FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 20th: FedEx 2-Day and 2-Day A.M. shipments
  • Dec. 21st: FedEx Overnight

It’s recommended that you ensure the item you’re shipping with any of these agencies is allowed. It’s also recommended that you don’t leave batteries in a product that could cause it to tick, or hum causing concern for factory workers.

If you’d like to read up on shipping guidelines we have links to each of the major shipping companies below:

USPS Shipping Restrictions
UPS Shipping Restrictions
FedEx Shipping Restrictions