by: Madison Hever, Ozarks First

The holiday season is in full swing, meaning mail carriers have deadlines if you want your holiday packages to arrive by Christmas Day.

United States Postal Service Strategic Communications Specialist Mark Inglett says USPS carriers are working extended hours to deliver packages during the busy season.

“We’ll have carriers on the street delivering packages as early as 5:30 or 6 a.m.,” Inglett said.”We’d like to have them off the street by 6 p.m., but there may be days when they’re out past that time.”

Inglett says there are some things you can do to help your carriers deliver your mail on time.

“In the afternoons and in the evenings, since it gets dark so early, we’d really appreciate if you left those porch lights on during that time,” said Inglett. “Keeping a clear path to the mailbox, not parking cars near the mailbox if we’re on the curbside, that way we can make it to the mailbox and everything is clear….please keep the pets inside. That’s a big challenge for us as well.”

Below are the national deadlines set by USPS, UPS and FedEx, respectively, to ship your packages to ensure arrival by Dec. 25th.

If you’re shipping military or international packages, you can check those deadlines on the USPSUPS and FedEx websites.

United States Postal Service

Contiguous U.S. (excludes Alaska & Hawaii)

Domestic Mail/Class Product: Deadline to ship:
First Class Mail Service Dec. 20
Priority Mail Service Dec. 21
Priority Mail Express Service Dec. 23
USPS Retail Ground Dec. 14

Shipping dates for Alaska & Hawaii

Mail/Class Product: Alaska deadline: Hawaii deadline:
First Class Mail Service Dec. 18 Dec. 19
Priority Mail Service Dec. 19 Dec. 19
Priority Mail Express Service Dec. 21 Dec. 21

UPS

(U.S. Deliveries)

Mail/Class Product: Deadline to ship:
Ground Dec. 14
3 Day Select Dec. 19
2nd Day Air Dec. 20
Next Day Air Dec. 23

FedEx

(U.S. Deliveries)

Mail/Class Product: Deadline to ship:
SameDay City Direct Dec. 25
SameDay City Priority Dec. 25
SameDay Dec. 25
First Overnight Dec. 23
Priority Overnight Dec. 23
Standard Overnight Dec. 23
2Day A.M. Dec. 20
2Day Dec. 20
Express Saver Dec. 19
Ground Dec. 16
Home Delivery Dec. 16
SmartPost Dec. 9

Inglett says, for USPS, the holiday season is their time to shine and also spread holiday cheer.

“Obviously we deliver to the whole world every day, but this time of year its really important folks are looking for those packages to get delivered,” Inglett said. “It helps us spread cheer and helps us communicate senders and receivers in a way that we don’t normally do it through the year, so its very exciting for us.”