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E-commerce News and Insights | September 29, 2021

USPS Christmas Shipping Deadlines For 2021 Announced

Even though Halloween decorations are still fresh on the shelves, retailers are preparing for the biggest e-commerce holiday of the year: Christmas. With that in mind, the Christmas shipping deadlines for USPS have been announced so online merchants can beat Santa this year.

Last year, over a million packages failed to reach their destination in time for Christmas due to the massive surge of online orders. A similar uptick in orders is expected this year as well.

Staying ahead of the curve will help inform your operational process as well as enable you to provide clearer communication to your customers.

USPS Christmas Shipping Deadlines

The USPS Christmas shipping deadlines are different depending on the service you choose, as well as the package’s origin and destination.

USPS Shipping Deadlines For Lower 48 States

Domestic Mail Class/Product Cut Off Date
First Class Mail Dec-17
Priority Mail Dec- 18
Priority Mail Express* Dec- 23
USPS Retail Ground Dec- 15
DNDC Drop Ship Marketing Mail Dec- 19
DSCF Drop Ship – Marketing Mail Dec- 21
DDU Drop Ship – Marketing Mail Dec- 22

*Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec 22-25

USPS Shipping Deadlines For Other U.S. States And Territories

Alaska
First Class Mail Dec 18
Priority Mail Dec 18
Priority Mail Express Dec 21
USPS Retail Ground Dec 02
DNDC Drop Ship Dec 11
From Hawaii To: First Class & Priority Mail Priority Mail Express
U.S. Mainland Dec 17 Dec 21
Hawaii Dec 20 Dec 22
Guam And Saipan Dec 10 Dec 17
American Samoa Dec 03 Dec 13
Military APOs & FPOs Dec 03 Dec 13
International Dec 03 Dec 13

International USPS Shipping Deadlines

International Mail Addressed To Global Express Guaranteed®  (GXG) Priority Mail Express International®  (PMEI) Priority Mail International®  (PMI) First-Class Package International Service®  (FCPIS)
Africa Dec- 20 Dec- 6 Nov- 29 Nov- 29
Asia/Pacific Rim Dec- 20 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Australia/New Zealand Dec- 20 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Canada Dec- 22 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Caribbean Dec- 21 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Central & South America Dec- 20 Dec- 6 Nov- 29 Nov- 29
Mexico Dec- 22 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Europe Dec- 21 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6
Middle East Dec- 20 Dec- 13 Dec- 6 Dec- 6

***GXG Notes: 1) Cutoff date does not take into account time needed for customs clearance. 2) Should allocate extra transit day(s) for delivery outside major cities.

What This Means For Your E-commerce Business

As much as we all want to forget about 2020, there are still aspects that we should remember and learn from. For example, no one is ever going to take toilet paper or paper towels for granted ever again. Consumers also haven’t forgotten what it was like to get their Christmas gifts after Christmas.

With that being said, your customers are likely planning to order earlier than ever before. Letting them know the Christmas shipping deadlines across your website, email communications, social media posts, and other channels allows you to provide helpful and proactive customer service that helps your customers meet their holiday shopping goals.

With customers being aware of their deadlines, they’ll want to order sooner than ever. If you plan on shipping with USPS or other carriers, you will want to leverage their shipment deadlines.  You’ll also likely want to consider inventory levels in the coming weeks. 

How To Save On USPS Shipping Labels

With an expected increase in sales, e-commerce business owners will need to create more shipping labels. For small businesses, in particular, the cost of shipping during peak season can add up in a hurry. 

Luckily, Shippo offers its users discount shipping labels from the USPS year round. These discounts range in size but can climb all the way to 89% of retail prices in certain cases. Utilizing all-in-one shipping solutions such as Shippo is one of many ways e-commerce businesses are prepping for peak season.

To find more information on how to conquer holiday shipping this year, be sure to visit our holiday shipping center.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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