(NEXSTAR) – The U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS have published recommended shipping dates to ensure gifts and cards arrive in time for Christmas.
In an economy shattered by the coronavirus pandemic, shortages and price spikes have affected everything from lumber and computer chips to toilet paper, prompting retailers to recommend that consumers shop early or risk risking. not finding what they want for Christmas, which falls on a Saturday this year.
In addition, the USPS slowed mail delivery as part of a plan he said would reduce costs and increase reliability. The new service standards mean that USPS will increase the delivery time by 39% of first class mail and 93% of periodicals such as magazines.
Courier services were completely overwhelmed last year as holiday shoppers shifted their shopping online amid the pandemic. The USPS then said on its website that it “was experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.”
This year the USPS recommend starting early. “The sooner you send, the better – don’t delay, post and ship today,” he said on his website.
Here are the dates to note on your calendar:
- December 17 – First Class Mail
- December 17 – First class packages (smaller)
- December 18 – Priority mail
- December 23 – Priority Mail Express
- December 9 – FedEx Ground Economy
- December 15 – FedEx Ground and home delivery
- December 21 – Express Saver
- December 22 – 2 days and 2 days AM
- December 23 – Night services
- December 24 – FedEx same day
- Ground shipping, see website for a quote
- December 22 – second day air services
- December 23 – air services the next day
- Note: UPS service guarantee suspended for most services due to COVID-19
And remember that shipping costs will increase as December 25th approaches.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.