Remember last year? "Supply chain issues" was the catchphrase of the year when it came to shipping holiday packages. I know I am not the only one who had stuff show up late.

While that may have eased up just a tad in 2022, the new buzzword is inflation, and you may be spending less on Christmas gifts this year. If you're going to have anything to mail out this year, the USPS says it's a good idea to plan ahead and plan early. Delays can happen even in the most perfect world. According to WeAreIowa, the USPS has released its suggested calendar for domestic (U.S.) holiday shipping, for it to arrive by Christmas:

  • Nov. 5   — APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 9   — APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
  • Dec. 17 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service

The USPS says its busiest time starts two weeks before Christmas, so by shipping early you're not just ensuring your gifts arrive on time, but you're helping them, too. "Temporary price adjustments" have also been announced, which will apply to Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground.

The temporary price adjustments, in effect through January 23, 2023, are being made to "cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful holiday season." That means a slight increase in the cost to mail certain types of parcels and packages. Learn more here.

What about UPS and FedEx?

Those dates have also been announced, according to shipstation.com

  • UPS Ground: Click here for calculation.
  • UPS 3-Day Select: Monday, December 19
  • UPS 2nd-Day Air:  Wednesday, December 21
  • UPS Next Day Air:  Thursday, December 22
  • FedEx Ground Economy:  Thursday, December 8
  • FedEx Ground:  Wednesday, December 14
  • FedEx Home Delivery:  Wednesday, December 14
  • FedEx Express Saver:  Tuesday, December 20
  • FedEx 2-Day:  Wednesday, December 21
  • FedEx Same Day: Friday, December 23

So, again, if you're not quite in that "mode" yet, it's completely understandable. But if 2021 taught us anything, it's never too early to plan ahead!

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