Christmas might seem pretty far away — but with the busiest shipping days of the year ticking closer, it's a good time to mark your calendar with some major shipping deadlines.
While you're making your list of gift plans (and checking it twice), avoiding high last-minute shipping prices will keep your wallet merry.
Ground shipping is generally the cheapest option, but you'll need to wrap things up by mid-December. FedEx's last day for ground delivery before Christmas is Wednesday, Dec.14. For USPS, that deadline is Saturday, Dec. 17. UPS recommends getting an estimate from its website, which calculates delivery dates for its various services.
Another option is ordering gifts online, sending them directly to the recipient's address. Christmas shipping deadlines vary by retailer, but many will have website banners in December to show when you'll need to order to have it delivered on time. Some online retailers, like Amazon, even offer gift wrapping for various products.
Here are the major deadlines for delivery in time for Sunday, Dec. 25.
- Retail Ground: Saturday, Dec. 17
- First-Class Mail: Saturday, Dec. 17
- Priority Mail: Monday, Dec. 19
- Priority Mail Express: Friday, Dec. 23
- FedEx Ground Economy: Thursday, Dec. 8
- FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Ground: Wednesday, Dec. 14
- FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 3Day Freight: Tuesday, Dec. 20
- FedEx 2Day: Wednesday, Dec. 21
- FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours: Thursday, Dec. 22
- FedEx SameDay: Friday, Dec. 23
- UPS Ground: Check the UPS website
- UPS 3 Day Select: Tuesday, Dec. 20
- UPS 2nd Day Air: Wednesday, Dec. 21
- UPS Next Day Air: Thursday, Dec. 22
Different deadlines will apply if you're mailing packages out of the country or to Alaska or Hawaii, so check the carriers' websites to find that information.