Your holiday shipping deadlines and what you can and can’t carry through TSA
Don’t panic, you still have some time to get your presents delivered before Christmas next week.
But don’t dilly-dally — this week is the busiest of the holiday mailing and shipping season in the United States, with the US Postal Service expecting to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of mail, the USPS said in a news release.
The USPS says in the period from December 10 to December 23, it expects it will have delivered nearly 200 million packages.
From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the postal service predicts it will make a total of nearly 16 billion mail and package deliveries. The agency has expanded its Sunday operations to help with the surge in holiday deliveries.
The numbers are scary, considering these are the statistics from one single mailing agency, but you still have a chance to have your package delivered before Christmas.
Today is the deadline for UPS’s most affordable delivery option, the UPS 3 Day Select, as well as the deadline for free shipping on Amazon orders. Tomorrow, December 19, is the deadline for FedEx’s “Express Saver,” and December 20 is the deadline for USPS’ first-class and priority mail.
To make sure your present arrives on time, these major US carriers suggest you ship your package on or before the following dates:
December 18: Last day to ship APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) through USPS Priority Mail Express
December 20: Last day to ship First-Class and Priority mail (including greeting cards) and First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
December 22: Last day to ship Priority Mail Express
December 18: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select
December 20: Last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air
December 21: Last day to ship UPS Next Day Air
December 22: Last day to ship UPS On-Call Pickup for UPS Next Day Air
December 19: Last day to ship FedEx Express Saver
December 20: Last day to ship FedEx 2 Day A.M. and FedEx 2 Day
December 21: Last day to ship FedEx First Class, Priority and Standard Overnight
December 25: Last day to ship FedEx SameDay, SameDay City Direct and City Priority
December 19: Last day for free and standard shipping
December 22: Last day for two-day shipping
December 23: Last day for one-day shipping (in select areas)
December 24: Last day for same-day deliveries (in select areas)
Traveling with presents
If you’re traveling by plane for the holidays, here are some tips from the Transportation Security Administration to keep in mind:
- If you’re bringing gifts with you, do not wrap them. The TSA suggests to bring your presents unwrapped, in a bag, or in an easy-to-get-to box, in case officers need to open them for a safety check.
- The TSA wants you to know that if you spent all night baking those Christmas cookies, it’s perfectly ok to pack them in your carry on, but if it’s eggnog or any other liquid, it must be 3.4 ounces or less.
- If you’re not sure if your present is safe enough to carry through the checkpoint, the TSA suggests you visit its “What can I bring?” section on its web page.
- Remember, many people travel for the holidays, which is why the TSA suggests getting to the airport earlier than usual, and “use your time at the checkpoint wisely.”
- Finally, if you think you left something behind at the checkpoint, don’t panic — the TSA has a lost and found program that will help you find your missing items.