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Published: Dec 20, 2022 5 min read
FedEx worker filling up a truck to deliver shipping packages
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There’s still time to ship gifts in time for Christmas delivery, but deadlines are nearing and you'll often save money by sending presents sooner rather than later.

The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and major retailers have all announced the last days you can ship packages in order for them to be delivered by Dec. 24. Because Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday, some of the 2022 holiday shipping deadlines are a day earlier than last year’s.

Last holiday season, package delays were unusually common as carriers struggled with staffing, causing headaches for many Americans who tried to ship gifts. Fortunately, delivery performance is back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a report last week from experts at ShipMatrix, a technology provider for the shipping industry.

The company’s data shows that the largest carriers (FedEx, UPS and USPS) were delivering more than 95% of parcels on time in November. Delivery performance remained near those levels even during the busy span around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, giving experts confidence that shipping delays won’t be such a problem in the coming weeks.

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2022 holiday shipping deadlines

Below are the deadlines for shipping gifts to arrive on or before Dec. 24 from the major delivery services, as well as Amazon and Walmart. (Note: Some of the deadlines have already passed. And if you’re planning on shipping packages to destinations outside the contiguous U.S., you may need to budget more time.)

USPS

The USPS recommends shipping your packages by the following dates:

  • Ground service: Dec. 17
  • First-Class mail: Dec. 17
  • Priority Mail: Dec. 19
  • Priority Mail Express: Dec. 23

More information, including shipping deadlines for destinations outside the contiguous U.S., is available on the USPS website.

FedEx

FedEx offers a variety of shipping options — the deadlines for some of which have already passed — but you can ship with the company's premium options through the week before Christmas. Here's the list of deadlines:

  • FedEx Ground or Freight (Economy): Dec. 8
  • FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery: Dec. 14
  • 3Day Freight Service and Express Saver service: Dec. 20
  • Two-day shipping: Dec. 21
  • Overnight service: Dec. 22
  • Same-day service: Dec. 23

FedEx says customers can ship one day later than the listed deadlines for overnight and two-day methods if they pay a $16 "Saturday Delivery" surcharge. More information on all of their shipping options is available here.

UPS

These are the deadlines for delivery by Dec. 24 with UPS:

  • 3-Day Select shipping: Dec. 20
  • 2nd Day Air service: Dec. 21
  • Next-Day Air service: Dec. 22

For ground shipping, you'll have to check the UPS website to calculate the deadline to ship packages because ship times vary depending on the route. UPS has more information about international shipping deadlines posted here.

Amazon

Amazon Prime members in certain parts of the country can use the company's same-day delivery service to get some items delivered on Dec. 24.

Prime customers should order by Dec. 22 at the latest if they're using the company's two-day shipping option and by Dec. 23 if they're using one-day shipping in order for items to be delivered by Dec. 24.

ShipMatrix reports that some Amazon orders have been taking longer than they're supposed to recently, so consider placing your order before these dates.

For customers who aren't using Prime shipping benefits, delivery times vary and will likely take longer. If you're not a member of Amazon's subscription service, check out our guide to see if Amazon Prime is worth it for you.

Walmart

Similar to Amazon Prime, members of the Walmart+ subscription service customers get access to free two-day or next-day shipping options, depending on the order, which means you'll be able to order qualifying items as late as either Dec. 22 or Dec. 23 and have them delivered by Dec. 24.

Delivery is generally slower if you're not using these expedited shipping options. Also, items sold through Walmart by third-parties may not be eligible for accelerated shipping.

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