How Much It’ll Cost You If You Miss the First Holiday Shipping Deadlines

USPS Post Office Mail Trucks. The Post Office is responsible for providing mail delivery VIII stock photo
jetcityimage / iStock.com

Christmas falls on a Sunday in 2022, and the USPS, FedEx and UPS will be closed for business that day and Monday the 26th, which is also the last day of Hanukkah and the first day of Kwanzaa. 

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According to AARP, all of the big shipping carriers are working to manage challenges like driver shortages, backlogs at ocean ports, tight air freight capacity and enormous demand — FedEx alone is planning to ship hundreds of millions of packages this season.

Here’s a look at the shipping deadlines you’ll have to meet to get your packages there on time — and what procrastinators can expect to pay if they miss them.

USPS

The following is the deadline and price schedule for the United States Post Office for delivery before Dec. 25.

  • Dec. 17: This is the deadline for first-class mail and retail ground service. First-class mail is best for envelopes and small packages up to 13 ounces for delivery in one to five business days. A first-class stamp costs $0.60 and packages start at $4.80. For bigger packages, retail ground service takes two to five days and prices start at $8.80.
  • Dec. 19: Priority mail takes one to three business days and starts at $9 for packages up to 70 pounds.
  • Dec. 23: Priority mail express service starts at $27.25 for packages up to 70 pounds and comes with a next-day to two-day delivery guarantee.
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FedEx

These are the company’s deadlines and shipping rates for deliveries before Dec. 25. The listed rates, which vary by package size, are for deliveries within 150 miles — you’ll pay more the farther your package travels.

  • Dec. 14: This is the deadline for standard FedEx Ground service.
  • Dec. 20: FedEx Express Saver starts at $10.80 to $39.10.  
  • Dec. 21: FedEx Express 2-Day Shipping starts at $22 to $43.10.
  • Dec. 22: FedEx Express Overnight (3 p.m.) starts at $31.40 to $62.75, Priority Overnight (10:30 a.m.) starts at $38.55 to $73.25 and First Overnight (8:30 a.m.) starts at $89.55 to $124.25.
  • Dec. 23: Quotes for FedEx Express Same Day Delivery are available online.

UPS

Visit ups.com/ctc for standard UPS Ground rate deadlines, which vary by package size and destination. Here’s a look at UPS’s later rates and deadlines, with the lowest starting rates being for letters only:​

  • Dec. 20: UPS 3-Day Select starts at $13.57 to $29.79 
  • Dec. 21: UPS 2nd-Day Air starts at $21.10 to $60.80
  • Dec. 22: UPS Next Day Air starts at $28.32 to $71.49

All rates and deadlines are for the 48 contiguous states.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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