All Things Shipping
Oct 8, 2018

Watch Out for Limited Delivery and Pickup Hours the Weekend Before Christmas

This year, December 24 falls on a Monday, which means the final home stretch for Christmas pickups and deliveries is over the weekend. Even though there are still a few days left before the holidays start, you and your customers will want to get your orders in early since the carriers have adjusted weekend schedules.

Although the carriers’ weekend hours are limited, keep in mind all of the carriers spend months preparing for the holiday shipping season and are already planning to add more trucks and seasonal staff to accommodate the influx of packages leading up to the holidays.

Here are the weekend pickup and delivery schedules for USPS, FedEx, and UPS, so you can plan your strategy.

U.S. Postal Service Weekend Delivery Hours  

The USPS delivers all mail on Saturdays. You can also submit your Priority Mail Express packages into the mailstream until Saturday, December 22 for delivery in time for the holidays.

On Sundays, the U.S. Postal Service delivers some Priority Mail Express and Amazon packages in select regions. However, Priority Mail and First Class Mail will not be delivered on Sunday. And, no pickups are scheduled on Sundays.

UPS Weekend Delivery Hours

On Saturday, you can expect delivery for UPS Worldwide Express, Next Day Air, and 2nd Day Air packages processed and labeled for Saturday Delivery, which includes a $16 Saturday delivery fee.

For package pickups, keep in mind:

  • For 2nd Day Air, the last day to submit your package for it to arrive by Christmas is Thursday, December 20.
  • For Next Day Air, the last day to ship is Saturday, December 22 as long as you schedule a Saturday pickup.

If you’d like to schedule a Saturday pickup, the service is available for UPS Air and International customers. If you’re not a regular Saturday pickup customer, you’ll need to schedule an On-Call Pickup in advance. Pickup and delivery of UPS Ground for Saturday packages will be available in many metro area ZIP codes.

UPS does not deliver or pick up on Sundays.

FedEx Weekend Delivery Hours

FedEx Home Delivery will deliver on Saturday, December 22, at no additional charge. This will be the last delivery day for FedEx Home Delivery shipments.

FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx 2Day will deliver on Saturday, December 22 if Saturday delivery is selected. Keep in mind that a $16 Saturday delivery fee will be applied per package.

Finally, FedEx Ground will not deliver on Saturday, December 22.

The last day to ship for FedEx Overnight, FedEx’s fastest shipping option besides SameDay, is Friday, December 21, so we recommend planning to have all of your FedEx shipments in the mailstream before the weekend. You can always ship FedEx SameDay up until December 25.

FedEx does not deliver or pick up on Sundays.

So, What Should You Do?

The key here is to communicate.

Communicate with your carrier of choice. If you know you’re going to require Saturday delivery or pickup (if applicable) from your carrier, schedule it with them well in advance. Also, as you’re creating shipping labels, make sure you’re selecting Saturday Delivery for applicable UPS and FedEx packages to ensure on-time delivery.

Communicate with your customers. Follow our handy 2018 holiday shipping deadlines chart as a quick reference when you’re planning your holiday delivery strategy. Make sure customers know when they’ll want to buy their gifts to ensure they arrive on time, and what risks they’re taking if they place an order over the weekend.

For more tips on navigating the upcoming season, visit our Holiday Shipping and Selling Central.

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Michelle McNamara
is a Senior Marketing Manager at Shippo

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