By Elisabeth Smith

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The holiday season is here and due to the pandemic, many people may be shipping their gifts to loved ones instead of giving them in person.

The U.S. Postal Service is expecting a significant increase in the volume of mail this year and recommends getting your packages or greetings out early so they arrive in time.

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For those wanting their mail to arrive at its destination by December 25, the following are mailing and shipping deadlines to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  • Dec. 9   — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

The post office is also expanding Sunday delivery and delivering packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.  For more information about shipping deadlines and tips, visit the USPS website.

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The UPS Store also recommends sending packages early and has the following deadlines for domestic delivery by Dec. 24.

  • Dec. 15 — UPS Ground
  • Dec. 21 — UPS 3 Day Select
  • Dec. 22 — UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Dec. 23 — UPS Next Day Air

International shipping deadlines for UPS can be found here.

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FedEx recommends similar deadlines to UPS, but customers using the FedEx SmartPost should have their packages ready to ship on Dec. 9. You can find the full FedEx holiday shopping guide here.