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Race to Wrap: Holiday shipping deadlines you need to know

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 6:36 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s expected to be the busiest week for mail delivery of the year, according to U.S. Post Office officials. Thankfully, USPS says it’s running on schedule nationwide, including here in central Virginia.

That’s a stark change from last year, when the pandemic brought on weeks-long shipping delays in some cases, during the holidays.

But despite equipment upgrades, like a new high-speed mail sorter in the eastern Henrico USPS facility, and extra temporary employees- you need to get your package addressed and on its way in order to make it to your loved one by Christmas morning.

Wednesday, Dec. 15 was the USPS day for Ground Service shipping, the cheapest option, to get packages to their destination by Christmas.

Friday, Dec. 17 is the deadline for First-Class Mail. Saturday, Dec 18 is the cut-off for Priority Mail. Dec. 23 is the last date for Priority Express Mail.

UPS and FedEx have similar deadlines.

Dec. 21 is the cut-off for three-day shipping for both carriers. Dec. 22 is the last day for two-day shipping. UPS’s final day for ‘next day’ delivery is Dec. 23. FedEx will ship your package the same day on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve.

Of course, the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to ship any of these gifts. In some cases, the shipping cost can be more expensive than the actual gift, if you wait long enough.

If you’re looking to avoid long lines, head to the post office early, potentially 30 minutes after it opens (to let the first wave of customers through).

USPS is also temporarily raising prices during the holiday season, anywhere from 25 cents to five dollars, depending on what you’re shipping and how far it’s traveling.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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