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USPS holiday shipping deadlines are upon us

USPS is urging customers to mail their greeting cards and packages now for Christmas arrival.

DENVER — The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is encouraging customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early due to expected significant increases in volume.

USPS said more holiday gifts and greeting cards will be sent through the mail this year, as families and friends will hold virtual celebrations instead of opening gifts in person.

USPS said it is committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered on time to celebrate the holidays in this extraordinary year.

According to USPS, the busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Monday, Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

To prepare for the holiday season, USPS said planning begins in January. The service has the ability to flex its network to meet the significant volume increases including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes.

Seasonal workers have been hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the processing and transportation networks, said USPS.

Sunday delivery was expanded beginning Sunday, Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes.

Credit: U.S. Postal Service

USPS reminds customers that they don't need to leave their homes to ship their packages. Customers can use USPS.com or use Click-N-Ship for free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup.

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

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

  • 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


  • Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express


  • Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express

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