If you’ve been following the kerfuffle of the shipping problems across the world, you know your holiday packages should be ordered as soon as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to touch every corner of our lives, affecting how we build a new roadmap to navigate these “after times.”
To ensure your loved ones receive their thoughtfully selected (and likely virtually purchased) presents by the holidays, you will want to check the shipping specifics for the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. Luckily, all three have released their holiday shipping deadlines for 2021. Here are their recommendations:
- USPS: The postal service recommends getting your parcels sent off by December 15 for ground service shipments in order to arrive by December 25. And December 18 for “Priority Mail” and December 23 for “Priority Mail Express.”
- FedEx: Federal Express recommends sending off the ground packages within the contiguous U.S. by December 15. For the company’s express services, a package sent with a “FedEx Same Day” option can be dropped off as late as December 24.
- UPS: The United Parcel Service says for its typical delivery service, get out your packages by December 20. For quicker options, aim for no later than between December 21 and 23, for three-day, second-day, or next-day delivery. Find more specific transit times for your particular location at the UPS website.
A bottleneck of cargo ships lacking the labor to unload shipments has presented a major kink in the supply chain—coupled with other sources of slowdowns from the pandemic, such as increased health precautions and a shortage of supplies like semiconductors.
But compared to last year’s holiday crush, when many shoppers overwhelmingly took to buying online, companies and services have responded to handle such challenges. The Wall Street Journal reported that during an earnings call, the president and COO of FedEx said its ground capabilities would be significantly improved from 2020 due to investments in infrastructure. Moreover, the post office is also trying its best to keep its head above water, even affording itself some slack by extending its normal delivery window an extra two days. To prepare, the agency has increased its package-sorting capabilities and added further facilities to handle the influx of shipments during busier periods.