WASHINGTON — Are you one of the millions of shoppers who prefer going online rather than standing in line to buy holiday gifts? The Postal Service has you covered on Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays. Count on us to get your packages to their destination in time for all the seasonal celebrations.
2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to shipping holiday items. 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 (APO/FPO/DPO) and certain domestic addresses*:
- Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
- Dec. 17 — USPS Retail Ground service
- Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 17 — First-Class Package Service (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 22 — Priority Mail Express* service
- Dec. 2 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – USPS Retail Ground
- Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
- Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. – Priority Mail Express
- Dec. 17 — Hawaii to/from mainland – First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
- Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland – Priority Mail Express
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary, depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or if delivery was not attempted, within two business days.
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted shipping price of $20.95 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50-per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.
To handle this year’s holiday surge, the Postal Service is expanding Sunday deliveries in high package volume locations. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.
As a reminder, there are temporary price increases in place through 12:01 a.m. Central, Jan 22, 2023. The increase affects both retail and business customers for some of our more popular shipping products, including military shipping. International products are unaffected. These temporary rates help keep the Postal Service competitive and are similar to adjustments in past years to help cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful peak season. More information can be found on our website.
The temporary adjustment is part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.
Ship From Home
Don’t feel like going to a Post Office location to drop off your special gift? You can go online to usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that special holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes*, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage, and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup. And usps.com is always open.
*Boxes are delivered within the U.S. with your regular mail, usually within seven to 10 business days. Exclusions apply. For details and to order, visit store.usps.com/store/home.
The busiest time of the season for the Postal Service begins two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of Dec. 5. The week of Dec. 12 is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.
The Postal Service offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to properly address and ship packages, how to pack a box so items arrive safely, and more.
For safety reasons, effective June 6, packages containing hazardous materials — in particular, lithium-ion batteries — must now be mailed by surface transportation using Parcel Select Ground or USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Return Service or Ground Return Service. The Postal Service issued the new requirements for shipping used electronics and other hazardous materials because items of this nature can cause fires and other dangers to mailers, air carriers, aircraft passengers and others.
Customers can find detailed information on common hazardous, restricted and perishable materials in the Postal Service’s Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.
Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or more than a half-inch thick cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up if you’re using stamps for postage. Instead, take them to a retail associate at any of our Post Office locations or use one of our self-service kiosks to weigh your packages and print shipping labels.
Additional news and information — including all shipping deadlines — can be found on the Postal Service’s Holiday Newsroom webpage.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.