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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

This is when you'll need to mail your packages this holiday season

According to the USPS, the busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With the pandemic, even more people are planning to shop online this year. That will mean a lot more packages and possible delays for getting it to your home or a loved one's in time.

Equipment and personnel are already being put into place and expanded Sunday delivery will begin Nov. 29 for the United States Postal Service.

According to the USPS, the busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas. That's when a lot of last-minute shopping starts. The package increase is expected to begin Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. For the best chances, try to get packages out before the surge.

Shipping deadlines

Here are the deadlines to ship something for delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and to 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

Alaska

  • 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

Hawaii

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

None of the dates above are a guarantee, so the sooner you can mail or ship your holiday cards and packages, the better.