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USPS Releases 2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

USPS Releases 2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The US Postal Service released its holiday-shipping deadlines for 2020, a year that has seen unprecedented online orders due to the demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the organization used humor in its headline announcing the recommended ship-by dates: “Despite 2020’s Best Efforts, the Holidays Are Approaching.”

The USPS expects customer traffic to increase during the week of December 7, with the period of December 14-21 predicted to be the season’s busiest for mailing, shipping and delivery.

More than 13 million customers are expected to use usps.com on December 14, making it the Postal Service’s busiest day online this holiday season.

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office addresses*:

Nov. 6 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service

Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services

Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service

Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service

Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)

Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service

Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

The USPS also offered the following tips for holiday mailing and shipping:

  • Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at local Post Offices or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
  • Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
  • Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Or, pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
  • Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a window clerk at a Post Office.

You can find today’s full announcement about holiday shipping deadlines on the USPS.com Newsroom. And let us know how realistic the deadlines are by leaving a comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “USPS Releases 2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines”

  1. Priority as late as December 19? Seriously? I’ve been having priority packages take 2 to 3 weeks, and it’s not even the peak season yet! I shipped a package via priority mail on September 23 from PA to CA. In 15 days, it wasn’t even scanned besides the acceptance scan when I paid for postage at the post office. Finally, it was scanned just before midnight on October 8 in Philadelphia. In 15 1/2 days it made it about 30-45 minutes away. No additional scans on the 9th or so far on the 10th. If you want a priority mail package to be delivered by Christmas, send it before Thanksgiving!

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