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2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines: How to Ensure Your Packages Arrive on Time

Posted in Shipping on Nov 23, 2022, tagged with holiday shipping

2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines: How to Ensure Your Packages Arrive on Time

The past two years have been record-breaking when it comes to supply chain issues and the overwhelming demand for package shipments, and it looks like 2022 will follow suit. Why are there so many packages on the road? You guessed it—post and parcel shipping systems are still struggling to accommodate the massive eCommerce boom inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Parcel Pending by Quadient, “73% of consumers report they are shopping online more now than they did prior to the pandemic and 88% of people say they will continue to shop online even after a cure or vaccine is discovered.” All this online shopping is adding up to a massive influx of parcel deliveries.

With another intense holiday shipping season expected in 2022, customers should plan to place their orders and send their packages earlier than usual. You should also expect higher shipping prices and would be well-advised to explore different shipping methods to ensure your gifts and packages are delivered in time for the holidays.

As we do every year, we’re here to help you determine which shipping service is right for you this holiday season. Let’s begin by looking at the items you’re planning to ship:

USPS, UPS, or FedEx is ideal for: Consolidated freight & less-than-truckload shipping is ideal for: White glove shipping is ideal for:
Cards
Small parcels
Small boxes of gifts

Boxes packed with anything that are too large for USPS, UPS, or FedEx
Car parts (boxed or crated)
Pallets

Furniture
Antiques
Artwork
Family heirlooms
Bulky or oddly-shaped items, like golf clubs

With these recommendations in mind, and to ensure your parcels arrive in plenty of time for the holidays—or at least by Christmas Eve—we’ve collected all the 2022 shipping deadlines for some of the most common shipping providers, including USPS, FedEx, and UPS.  

USPS

Keep reading to find out shipping deadlines for domestic shipments, packages being sent to Alaska and Hawaii, international parcels, and military mail.

Domestic

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
USPS Retail Ground™ service December 17
First-Class Mail® service (including greeting cards) December 17
Priority Mail® service December 19
Priority Mail Express® service* December 23
*not a guarantee
Source: USPS

Rate Increase

To offset costs during their peak season, some USPS rates will be between $0.30 and $6.50 higher per package—depending on the service and package weight—between October 2, 2022 and January 22, 2023. Learn more about this temporary rate adjustment.

Alaska and Hawaii

Destination
First-Class Mail® Service
Priority Mail® Service
Priority Mail Express® Service
USPS Retail Ground® Service
Alaska December 17 December 17 December 21 December 2
Hawaii December 17 December 17 December 21 n/a
*not a guarantee
Source: USPS

International Mail

Destination
First-Class Package International Service®
Priority Mail International® Service
Priority Mail Express International® Service
Global Express Guaranteed® Service
Africa November 29 November 29 December 6 December 20
Asia/Pacific Rim December 6 December 6 December 13 December 20
Australia/New Zealand December 6 December 6 December 13 December 20
Canada December 6 December 6 December 13 December 22
Caribbean December 6 December 6 December 13 December 21
Central & South America November 29 November 29 December 6 December 20
Europe December 6 December 6 December 13 December 21
Mexico December 6 December 6 December 13 December 22
Middle East December 6 December 6 December 13 December 20
*not a guarantee
Source: USPS

Military Mail

Destination
USPS Retail Ground® Service
First-Class Mail® Service
Priority Mail® Service
Priority Mail Express Military® Service (PMEMS)
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs™ 090-092 November 5 December 9 December 9 December 16
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 093 November 5 December 9 December 9 n/a
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-099 November 5 December 9 December 9 December 16
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 340 November 5 December 9 December 9 December 16
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 962-966 November 5 December 9 December 9 December 16
*not a guarantee
Source: USPS

FedEx

Get FedEx shipping deadlines for US domestic parcels, packages being sent to Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, as well as detailed information about FedEx peak season shipping surcharges.

Domestic

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
FedEx Same Day December 23
FO, PO, SO, Extra Hours
FedEx 1Day Freight
December 22
2Day & 2Day AM
FedEx 2Day Freight
December 11
FedEx Express Saver
FedEx 3Day Freight
December 20
FedEx Ground
FedEx Freight Priority
FedEx Freight Direct
December 14
Ground Economy
FedEx Freight Economy
December 8
Source: FedEx

US to Canada

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
FedEx® International Next Flight December 23
FedEx International First® December 22
FedEx International Priority®
FedEx International Priority Distribution®
December 17
FedEx International Economy® December 16
FedEx International Connect Plus December 15
Canada Domestic Ground December 14
Northbound Ground December 12
Southbound Ground December 13
Source: FedEx

US to Mexico

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
FedEx® International Next Flight December 23
FedEx International First®
FedEx International Priority®
December 21
FedEx International Economy®
FedEx International Connect Plus
December 20
Source: FedEx

US to Puerto Rico

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
FedEx® International Next Flight December 23
FedEx International First® December 21
FedEx International Priority Distribution®
FedEx International Economy
December 20
Source: FedEx

Rate Increase

Like USPS, FedEx has made changes to their pricing for the peak season. Surcharges are in effect beginning on September 5th and an additional increase on October 3rd.

FedEx Peak Surcharges

Surcharge Name
Applicable Services
September 5-October 2, 2022
October 3, 2022-January 15, 2023
Peak — Additional Handling Surcharge U.S. Express Package Services
U.S. Ground Services
International Ground Service
$3.45 per package $6.55 per package
Peak — Oversize Charge U.S. Express Package Services
U.S. Ground Services
International Ground Service
$39.50 per package $68.75 per package
Peak — Ground Unauthorized Package Charge U.S. Ground Services
International Ground Service
  $385.00 per package
Peak Surcharge FedEx Ground® Economy Package Services  

Oct. 31–Nov 27: $1.50 per package

Nov 28–Dec 11: $2.50 per package

Dec 12–Jan. 15: $1.50 per package

Peak — Residential Delivery Charge FedEx Express and FedEx Ground U.S. domestic residential packages (excluding FedEx Ground Economy and FedEx One Rate® packages). Based on Peaking Factor  
Source: FedEx Peak Surcharges and Fees guide

UPS

Get UPS shipping deadlines for US domestic parcels and packages being sent to Canada.

Domestic

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
UPS® Ground shipping Check ups.com/ctc for details
3 Day Select® December 20
2nd Day Air® Services December 21
Next Day Air® Services December 22
Source: UPS

US to Canada

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
UPS® Standard services (from the 48 contiguous states only) Check ups.com/ctc for details
UPS Worldwide Expedited® December 19
UPS Worldwide Express® services December 22
Source: UPS

US to Mexico

Service
Shipping Cutoff Date
UPS® Standard services (from the 48 contiguous states only) Check ups.com/ctc for details
UPS Worldwide Expedited® December 19
UPS Worldwide Express® services December 22
Source: UPS

Rate Increase

UPS has also implemented peak/demand surcharges to help offset their increased costs. Effective August 14, 2022 until further notice, rates will increase between $0.65-$1.70 per pound depending on service level and location. Learn more in their Peak Surcharge Update (PDF).

Consolidated freight and white glove shipping services

If you’re sending a gift of large packed boxes, furniture, antiques, or family heirlooms, you may want to use a shipping company who specializes in transporting these items. Even though USPS, FedEx, and UPS are all capable of carrying oversized packages, in 2022, these providers are charging additional fees and adding surcharges to oversized packages in order to accommodate the increase in demand. Full Service Expedited, White Glove Consolidated, or flat rate Box-and-Ship may be your best bet in these cases:

  • Full Service Expedited: Full Service Expedited shipping includes full box and furniture packing, indoor pickup and delivery, and full valuation protection insurance. Your packages will be shipped on a dedicated truck—meaning they do not share space with other shipments heading in the same direction. Full Service Expedited is ideal when you need help with packing and fast delivery. 
  • White Glove Consolidated: With White Glove Consolidated shipping, professional movers will provide full furniture packing and preparation, and indoor pickup and delivery. Box packing can be added for an additional fee. This method is ideal for boxes that are too large for USPS, FedEx, or UPS, or our flat rate Box-and-Ship program. Your packages will share space on the trucks with other shipments headed in the same direction so they may take a bit longer to arrive, but you’ll only pay for the truck space you use, which may mean lower shipping costs. 
  • Box-and-Ship: Simply order your boxes, pack them up, and let TSI know when they’re ready to go! Flat rate box shipping with TSI is based on the number of boxes you ship. No matter how much they weigh (as long as they don’t exceed 40 lbs) or how far they’re travelling (within the continental United States), you’ll pay one flat rate per box. Box-and-Ship is ideal for sending boxes that weigh less than 40lbs long distance. 

Whichever service you need, we always recommend shipping your items as soon as possible to ensure they arrive on time. 

Conclusion

Just like in 2020 and 2021, you’ll need to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time if you want your packages to arrive in time for the 2022 holiday season. Here are some tips to keep in mind when getting ready to ship your parcels:

  • Use USPS, UPS, or FedEx for greeting cards and small boxes.
  • Use consolidated freight and specialty shipping partners like TSI for bulky items, large boxes, or fragile and valuable pieces.
  • Make sure that the return and delivery addresses are both correct.
  • Use an easy-to-read shipping and address label.
  • Correctly complete the bill of lading and other documentation.
  • Send your shipment early!

Get Your Holiday Shipments On the Road

Discover TSI's specialty shipping services for packed boxes and furniture. 

Learn more