The U.S. Postal Service announced the 2016 holiday mailing and shipping deadlines for domestic and international destinations as customers begin to prepare for the busy shopping and shipping season. Customers are encouraged to ship early.
To ensure timely delivery of cards, letters and packages within the United States by Dec. 25, the Postal Service recommends that customers ship their items by the following dates:
Mail-by Dates — Domestic Services
* Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.
* Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.
* Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2 or 3 business days based on where the package is mailed and where it’s being sent, variety of flat-rate options.
* Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed between Dec. 22 and Dec. 25.
Click here for complete details on mailing and shipping services.
Mail-by Dates — International Services
Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines.
Click here for more information on international shipping.
Mail-by Dates- Military
The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays.
Click here for complete military mailing deadlines.
As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online. Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge by clicking here.
Customers may also ship using their own materials.
As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.