Busiest shipping day of the year: How to ensure your holiday packages get delivered on time

National News

CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Now that the busiest shipping day of the year has come to a close, how do you know when to get those packages out to guarantee on-time delivery before the holidays?

Nowadays, the planning for sending out your packages is just as important as actually buying them. The holiday mailing, shipping, and delivery services will remain steady for the rest of the week up until the end of the year.

The North Syracuse Post Office had a lot of hustle and bustle on Monday.

“The lobby is busy. We’ve already seen the rush coming into the Processing Distribution Center, cars lining up, customers in line, it’s just been great. Exciting day for us,” said Frantz Lauture, Plant Manager at the Syracuse Processing Distribution Center.

The United States Postal Service is ready to deliver more than 28 million packages per day between December 16 and December 21. The daily average for delivered packages until the holiday season is over is 20.5 million. This means all hands are on deck and everyone working hard to ensure your packages get delivered.

“We added some additional stuff in order for us to really provide excellent service for our customers. We have a team of over 625 employees in this building and we are here dedicated to our customers,” said Lauture.

It’s advised to pay close attention to those shipping deadlines for the shipping companies and major online retailers to ensure your packages get delivered on time. However, if you plan ahead, you’ll be in good shape.

“What we’ll always advise to make sure you have the correct address the correct right zip code, and then the rest will be up to us. That’s what we do, we provide delivery mail. We are the best,” said Lauture.

More tips for a successful holiday mailing and shipping season:

  • Use free priority mail flat rate boxes
  • Create shipping labels and pay for postage online
  • Schedule free package pickup, it’s free no matter how many packages you have

See below for important shipping deadlines:

United States Postal Service (USPS):

Recommended shipping deadlines for expected delivery by December 25.

  • Dec. 9 APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority/First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 11 APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority/First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 14  USPS Retail Ground
  • Dec. 18  APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
  • Dec. 20  First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 20  First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 21  Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23   Priority Mail Express (not guaranteed for 12/25 delivery)

Packages mailed to the military or at diplomatic posts get a discounted price: $18.45 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box.

You may also send your package online at usps.com.

Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, USPS expects to deliver 800 million packages. Service will include Sunday deliveries with 8 million packages on that day through December.

USPS’s busiest time is the two weeks before Christmas. Nearly 2.5 billion pieces of First-Class mail, includes greeting cards, will be processed.

United Parcel Service (UPS)

UPS is open on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, except for UPS Express Critical for urgent packages, you may call 800-714-8779 or visit upsexpresscritical.com. Click here for UPS daily shipping rates.

UPS offers a complete report on preparing a shipment, determining the rate for national and international shipping, tracking and payment. Click here to read. Be sure you have some time to read it, however, because it’s 158 pages. Talk about thorough.


FedEx, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Home Delivery offers an interactive calendar for you to coordinate deliveries, both national and international, to get to your designated destination by Wednesday, December 25. Click here to see the map.


International courier DHL is the world’s largest logistics company. The agency has service in 220 countries and territories around the world. It has been in business for 50 years. There are not any December 25 deliveries and DHL’s website states, “holidays and mail and package delivery may be delayed or unavailable.”

U.S. to the U.S.

  • FedEx SameDay City Direct, City Priority, SameDay: Dec. 25
  • FedEx First Overnight, Priority Overnight, Standard Overnight: Dec. 23
  • FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day: Dec. 20
  • FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 19
  • FedEx Ground, Home Delivery: Dec. 16
  • FedEx SmartPost (exceptions apply): Dec. 9

For more local news, follow Adrienne Smith on Twitter @AdrienneSmithTV

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