FLORIDA, USA — Holiday shopping is never fun.
Beyond the detective works that goes into finding out what everyone may want, there's also having to deal with the logistics of making sure your gifts arrive on time.
However, in a cruel twist of fate, this year is not going to be any easier, and it's not your fault.
Experts are warning people of shortages and delays due to supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. There's also the added issue of slower shipping services.
With all that being said, some major delivery companies are letting people know which days they recommend mailing out gifts so they arrive before or on time for the holidays.
The USPS said its busiest time begins two weeks before Christmas, and customer traffic at Post Office locations typically starts increasing the week of Dec. 6, with Dec. 13-18 being the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the holiday season.
USPS 2021 holiday shipping deadlines
- Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 17 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service
FedEx also recently announced its Christmas deadlines, with options to ship packages up until Christmas Eve for delivery by Dec. 25.
- FedEx Ground Economy - Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021
- FedEx Ground - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
- Home Delivery - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
- Express Saver - Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021
- 2Day & 2Day AM - Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021
- Overnight Services - Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021
- FedEx Same Day - Friday, Dec. 24, 2021
These are the recommended last days to ship something within the U.S. using UPS for delivery by Christmas Eve.
- UPS 3 Day Select - Tuesday, Dec. 21
- UPS 2nd Day Air services - Wednesday, Dec. 22
- UPS Next Day Air services - Thursday, Dec. 23
- UPS Ground shipping - Check UPS website calculator for recommendations
Now, these are recommended dates. But, depending on where you live, your gifts may take even longer to reach your loved ones.
Here in Florida, the state is facing disproportionately longer delays due to USPS changing its first-class mail delivery, slowing the entire system down.
An analysis by the Washington Post shows, depending on where you're getting your mail from, you could be waiting up to five days for first-class mail.
Here's a breakdown of when your mail could arrive in the Tampa Bay area, based on where it's coming from:
- Seattle: Five days
- San Francisco: Five days
- Los Angeles: Five days
- Dallas: Four days
- Chicago: Four days
- New Orleans: Three days
- Atlanta: Three days
- Washington, D.C.: Three to four days
- New York: Three to four days
- Miami: Two to three days
- Tallahassee: Two to three days
To look up a specific zip code for estimated mail delivery time, click here.