Holiday Shipping Deadlines: Ensure Your Gifts Arrive on Time | Personal Finance

Vaughn Moore, executive chairman and CEO of AIT Worldwide Logistics, has a message about holiday shipping for procrastinators: “You’ll have a better experience this year than in previous years.” That’s because after two years of pandemic-related supply chain issues, the shipping industry has more capacity now. Gone are the backlogs at US ports, and many retailers are now sitting on warehouses full of inventory. While there can always be hiccups, Vaughn anticipates customers won’t encounter the same shipment delays for packages and purchases as they did in recent years. Still, you’ll want to place retail orders and mail packages before carrier deadlines to ensure delivery by the holidays. Avoid heartbreak on Christmas morning by knowing your shipping options and when items need to get in the mail. Shipping Deadlines for Major CarriersConsumers who need to mail holiday packages can choose from several shipping companies. In most cases, both standard and expanded delivery services are available. While commercial flights are expected to be full of passengers in the upcoming months, there should be enough air capacity to manage holiday packages in need of delivery, according to Todd Pigeon, vice president of sales for PayCargo, a logistics payment platform. He notes that shipping companies operate dedicated fleets of airplanes and may contract with commercial carriers to transport packages as well. As a result, Pigeon doesn’t foresee much difficulty in getting packages to major gateway airports. However, once items are out of the air and on their way for ground delivery to outlying areas, it might be a different story. “When cargo goes beyond those gateways, I would be more prudent about ordering (and shipping) ahead,” he says. USPS Due to competition from shipping companies, the United States Postal Service remains a popular choice for package deliveries. The agency reports it delivered 7.6 billion packages in 2021. To ensure packages arrive by Christmas, the USPS recommends mailing by the following dates, depending on the service used: USPS Retail Ground Service: Dec. 17. First-Class Mail Service: Dec. 17 Priority Mail Service: Dec. 19. Priority Mail Express Service: Dec. 23. If you will be shipping from the contiguous states to Alaska, ground service mail should be shipped by Dec. 2, first-class and Priority Mail by Dec. 17 and Priority Mail Express by Dec. 21. Packages to Hawaii should be mailed by Dec. 17 for First-Class and Priority Mail services, while Priority Mail Express can be shipped as late as Dec. 21 for Christmas delivery.While Priority Mail Express gives consumers extra days to get gifts in the mail, it comes at a cost. Retail Ground Service starts at $8.80, but Priority Mail Express has a starting rate of $27.25. FedExDelivery company FedEx offers more than a dozen shipping options, ranging from ground delivery that can take up to seven days for arrival within the United States to same-day service that is available across all 50 states. FedEx Ground Economy: Dec. 8. FedEx Ground: Dec. 14. FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 20. FedEx 2Day: Dec. 21. FedEx SameDay: Dec. 23. As with USPS, you’ll pay a premium to use an expanded service. Sending a 1-pound package from New York City to Los Angeles is currently priced at $12.78 for FedEx Home Delivery. But if you want that package delivered by 8 am tomorrow morning, it will cost $176.36 for FedEx First Overnight delivery. If delivery can wait 12 hours, the price drops to $125.87 for FedEx Standard Overnight. UPSUnited Parcel Service, known for its signature boxy brown trucks, is another popular shipping carrier. The company won’t be making any regular deliveries on Christmas Day, so you’ll want to adhere to the following deadlines to ensure packages arrive by Dec. 24. UPS Ground: Variations by location. UPS 3 Day Select: Dec. 20. UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 21. UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 22. Shipping rates depend on the size of the package, destination and service selected. Ground rates for a small package shipped within the contiguous 48 states start at $11.00 for UPS Ground service and go to $37.24 for UPS Next Day Air. For shipments to Alaska and Hawaii, rates for a small package start at $44.51 for Ground service or $92.89 for Next Day Air for destinations in metro areas, or $57.41 and $95.89, respectively, for addresses in remote areas. DHL ExpressAlthough able to ship packages domestically, DHL Express specializes in door-to-door international deliveries made to and from the US The company’s quick express service can deliver to 220 countries and territories, with packages arriving within 24 to 72 hours, depending on the destination.To ensure international delivery in time for Christmas, it’s best to send packages via DHL Express no later than Dec. 18. Pricing for DHL Express deliveries depends on the destination. Shipping Deadlines for Major Retailers Some customers aren’t as worried about sending packages as they are about receiving them in time for the holidays. For items that are in stock, Moore doesn’t anticipate retailers will have trouble sticking to their promised delivery timeframes. shipping the item to the store and picking it up,” advises Bryan Palma, industry and solutions marketing director at Kinaxis, a supply chain planning software provider. In some cases, that may result in a faster delivery time. Walmart Walmart shoppers have access to free shipping for online orders of at least $35. Purchases costing less than that amount incur a shipping charge of $6.99. Depending on the item and your location, shipments may be shipped via one of the following: Two-day shipping. Three-day shipping. Standard delivery of more than three days. There is also an Express Delivery option to have items delivered from a local store within two hours. This service may not be available in all areas and costs $10 plus a $7.95 or $9.95 delivery fee. Some shipping and delivery fees may be waived for Walmart+ members. Many items sold on Walmart’s website come from the third-party sellers, and depending on whether those goods are shipped by Walmart or the third party, that could impact delivery times.Target Customers buying Holiday gifts from this year should plan on a standard shipping time of three to five days. Some items are also eligible for two-day shipping, and if you pre-order a product, there is an express delivery option for those items to be delivered within one business day. Shipping is free for customers paying with a Target RedCard or making a qualifying purchase of at least $35. The Home Depot Purchases of at least $45 are eligible for free standard shipping from The Home Depot. Customers should allow three to five business days for parcel ground delivery in addition to order processing time, according to the company’s website. There are also 158,000 items that can be shipped for free to Alaska and Hawaii. Many products are eligible for two-day shipping. Customers should check their account for order status and expected delivery date. Free curbside or store pickup is also an option at The Home Depot, although you won’t be able to pick up items on Christmas day. Amazon With a fleet of 110 aircraft and its own delivery trucks, online retailer Amazon appears to be uniquely positioned to ensure packages arrive on time during the holiday season. The company offers the following delivery options in the contiguous United States: Standard delivery in four to five business days. Two-day shipping. One-day shipping. Same-day shipping. One-day and same-day shipping may be limited to certain areas, and both one- and two-day shipping reflect business days, not calendar days. For deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii, expect purchases to take three to seven days for standard shipping, two to five days for expanded shipping and one to four days for priority shipping. Depending on their location, Macy’s customers may be able to make purchases as late as Dec. 24 and still get items in time for Christmas. The department store has the following recommended shipping deadlines for orders being delivered within the continental United States: Standard and premium shipping: Dec. 21 by 5 p.m. EST. Express shipping: Dec. 22 by 12 p.m. EST. Same-day delivery (select areas only): Dec. 24 by 10 am local time. In-store or curbside pickup: Dec. 24 by 3 pm local time. Premium shipping costs an extra $10 for orders with pre-tax totals of at least $49, while express delivery is a $15 upgrade. Purchases should be made by Dec. 15 for standard shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, or by Dec. 16 for express shipping to destinations in those states. Of course, deliveries from any retailer could be delayed by adverse weather, natural disasters or other events. So before you get too comfortable with the idea of ​​last-minute shopping and shipping this year, consider that earlier might always be better.

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