Last Minute Shipping by Christmas: Tips to Meet Shipping Budget and Time Deadline

There are quite a few choices when it comes to holiday shipping. Each shipping service has a different deadline to get a package to its destination before December 25th.

Mailing ChoicesThe major international shipping options include: United States Postal Service, the United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx and DHL. All four have competitive prices and shipping specials that can move your package at a faster rate, however, there are limits. So the motto for all four companies is – it’s best to ship early.

Timing and BudgetDepending on the service, some shipments to places like Afghanistan or Iraq can take more than a week. So if the shipping budget is small, plan accordingly. There are many overnight options, however, they can be very expensive depending on the package.

USPS Service DeadlinesUSPS will guarantee you delivery by Christmas day if you send it by December 22nd Express Mail, however, that’s the most expensive option. December 14th is predicted to be their heaviest day of shipping, so you may expect long lines at the post office that day. However, there are on line options that can help you skip the lines and have a postal worker pick up the package at you home if it is pre-packed.

USPS Parcel Post service is their cheapest budget option, but a package can take up to seven days to get to a destination, so shoot for December 14th to December 16th as the last day to ship with Parcel Post.

UPS Service DeadlinesThe cheapest shipping option for UPS is Ground Freight Shipping. This type of shipping can take one to five business days depending on the destination. International shipping can take up to five days.

UPS notes on their web site the last day of pick up for ground or air service to get a package to its destination by December 25th is December 23rd. Utilizing their Worldwide Saver, Worldwide Express and Worldwide Express Plus will get a package moved in one to three days, but there’s no guarantee it will get there on December 24th if shipped on the December 23rd. So sending a package a couple days earlier on December 21st or 22nd may be a better shipping option. Finally, UPS will deliver on December 24th , if your shipment is pre-arranged for pick up by December 23rd but your options may be a little pricey.

FedEx Service DeadlinesFedEx notes on their web site that to make sure a package gets somewhere by December 25th using their ground service, or cheapest rate, ship by December 17th. After that options get a lot more expensive. Shipping with FedEx as late as December 24th is an option, however, Ground Service and Home Delivery only provide deliveries on that day, not pick up. FedEx Express is the only shipping option on that date and will be more expensive than the other options.

DHL Service DeadlinesDHL has the least amount of information on line when it comes to holiday shipping and schedules for Christmas and New Year’s Day. However, they do offer express services to mail packages. Contact your local DHL provider and get their deadlines.

Last minute Christmas shipping can get expensive so planning ahead can limit the damage to your holiday budget and reduce concern that the shipped package will get there on time.

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