Holiday Greetings? Get The USPS Shipping Cut Off Dates

Source: Sarah Parrott/Flickr

If you’re planning on mailing out holiday cards or gifts, it’s time to get to it. Because this is the busiest time of year for the United States Post Office, mailings can take a little longer. Here’s a list of cut off dates to ensure timely delivery of your cards, letters or packages, courtesy of the USPS.

DOMESTIC MAIL DEADLINES

Domestic Mail Class Deadline
FIRST CLASS MAIL® DEC. 20
PRIORITY MAIL® DEC. 21
EXPRESS MAIL® DEC. 22 (Check your local Post Office)
PARCEL POST® DEC. 15

Following is a list of related holiday dates:

  • First night of Hanukkah (Chanukah ) – Dec. 20th at Sunset
  • Christmas Eve – Dec. 24th
  • Christmas Day – Dec. 25th
  • Kwanzaa – Dec. 26, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012

MILITARY MAIL  DEADLINES

Military Mail Addressed To Express Mail® Military Service (EMMS)¹ First-Class Mail® Letters/Cards Priority Mail® Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL)² Space Available Mail (SAM)³ Parcel Post®
APO / FPO / DPO AE
(Iraq and Afghanistan)
ZIP 093
N/A Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 1 Nov. 26 Nov. 12
APO / FPO / DPO AE
(all others)
ZIPs 090-092, 094-098, 340, 962-966
Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 10 Dec. 3 Nov. 26 Nov. 12

Notes:

¹ EMMS:  is available to selected military post offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to your APO/FPO address.
² PAL:  is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
³ SAM:  parcels are paid at Parcel Post postage rate of postage with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

OUTBOUND INTERNATIONAL MAIL DEADLINES (SHIPPING TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY)

International Mail Addressed To: Global Express Guaranteed®(GXG)4 Express Mail International®(EMS)5 Priority Mail International™(PMI)6 First-Class Mail International™
AFRICA DEC. 20 DEC. 10 DEC. 2 DEC. 2
ASIA/PACIFIC RIM DEC. 19 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND DEC. 19 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
CANADA DEC. 21 DEC. 16 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
CARIBBEAN DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA DEC. 20 DEC. 10 DEC. 2 DEC. 2
MEXICO DEC. 21 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
EUROPE DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
MIDDLE EAST DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9

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