Know the Holiday Shipping Schedules to Get Your Packages On Time

How Carrier’s Holiday Schedules Affect Package Forwarding Shipments

It’s November, and that means the holidays are approaching. In the US, that typically means Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

holiday shipping schedulesMost package carriers close their shipping services altogether on those holidays, and some even have adjusted shipping schedules in the surrounding days.

To make sure your shipments aren’t delayed, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the holiday shipping schedules of the carriers you use.

Two Ways the Holidays Can Impact Your Shipments

Package forwarding shoppers essentially have to think about two shipments for every package: the first one is the domestic shipment from the online store to the forwarding warehouse; the second is the international shipment from the forwarding warehouse to your country.

This means you’ll want to keep in mind both the date of delivery to the forwarding warehouse, and the date of pick-up from the forwarding warehouse.

Keep the difference in carriers in mind, too: an online store might ship your package to the forwarding service by USPS, but you may choose to ship it internationally by UPS. If you’re shopping on a tight schedule, make sure the carriers you rely on are both operating on the appropriate days!

Holiday Information, Carrier by Carrier

  1. United States Postal Service (USPS)
    Many stores use the USPS to ship online orders, so be aware that the following are considered postal holidays:

    • Thursday, November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving)
    • Monday, December 26, 2011 (Christmas, observed)
    • Monday, January 2, 2012 (New Year’s Day, observed)

    Also keep in mind that delivery times might be delayed during the holidays due to an increase in shipments. If you want to make sure your package is delivered by a certain date, check the USPS holiday delivery schedule (for domestic or international).

  2. UPS
    Private carriers usually stop shipments on national holidays, too. In fact, UPS is even closed the day after Thanksgiving:

    • Thursday, November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving)
    • Friday, November 25, 2011
    • Monday, December 26, 2011 (Christmas, observed)
    • Monday, January 2, 2012 (New Year’s Day, observed)

    Because of the above holidays, deliveries that would ordinarily be guaranteed within a certain period (for example, 2nd Day Air or Next Day Air) will also be delayed. See the UPS year-end holiday schedule for details.

  3. FedEx
    Like UPS, expedited FedEx packages that might ordinarily be delivered on a Sunday will be delayed up to two days because of the holiday schedule:

    • Thursday, November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving)
    • Sunday, December 25 (Christmas)
    • Monday, December 26, 2011 (Christmas, observed)
    • Sunday, January 1, 2012 (New Year’s Day)
    • Monday, January 2, 2012 (New Year’s Day, observed)

    FedEx has a handy “Last Day to Ship” schedule that you can follow to make sure you packages arrive on time.

Don’t Forget Your Package Forwarding Service!

The holidays are always a busy time of year, and packages can start to pile up in the forwarding warehouse. If you absolutely must have your package forwarded by a certain date, you might want to place your ship request a few days earlier than usual. Otherwise, you can request express processing to help your package get out the door a little faster.


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