October 13, 2015: It’s that time of year again — when the economy revs up and mail — both personal and commercial — begins to swell in the trucks and cargo bays.
This past Monday, the United States Postal Service released its annual list of drop-dead postal deadlines for domestic, international, and military mail. Make sure you abide by these dates to make sure your mail pieces get through before St. Nick slides down the chimney!
Mail-by Dates (Domestic Services)
Dec. 15 – Standard Post
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.
Dec. 19 – First Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.
Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where your package starts and where it’s being sent, variety of Flat Rate options.
Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25.
Mail-by Dates (International Services)
Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines. Please visit the International Shipping page on usps.com for more information.
|International Mail Addressed To||Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)***||Priority Mail Express International™ (PMEI)||Priority Mail International® (PMI)||First-Class Package International Service™ (FCPIS)|
|Central & South America||Dec-21||Dec-11||Dec-1||Dec-1|
***GXG Notes: 1) Cutoff date does not take into account time needed for customs clearance. 2) Should allocate extra transit day(s) for delivery outside major cities.
Mail-by Dates (Military)
The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays. Complete military mailing deadlines to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, as well as tips and guidelines can be found here .
As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online at usps.com. Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge.
Shipping supplies available online and at local Post Offices include:
Priority Mail boxes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.
Priority Mail non-padded envelopes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.
ReadyPost boxes: beginning at $4.29.
ReadyPost bubble mailers: beginning at $1.79.
ReadyPost clear packing tape: $3.29.
Customers may also ship using their own materials. As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.