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Here's the last day to mail cards and presents for Christmas delivery

Major shipping companies are expecting billions of cards, letters, and packages to go through their systems this holiday season.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — This year will be another record season for packages and shipping companies are gearing up for the holiday crush. The U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are bringing in nearly a quarter million temporary workers to ensure they don’t become overwhelmed by packages again.

Last year was a wake-up call for the USPS. The COVID-19 pandemic created staffing shortages and a massive backlog of mail. This holiday season, the agency re-organized the work floor and expanded process areas to get packages into hands faster.

“We know that our customers have relied on us for over 240 years and we don't take that lightly. So we're here and committed to our customers,” said Kristina Uppal, USPS communications specialist.

UPS workers are also prepared for the season. The company has been keeping an eye on global supply chain bottlenecks that have created issues across the nation.

“You know, it’s something we’ve been watching since the inception of the pandemic,” said Nakeya Shelton, President of Enterprise Sales at UPS. “But, the good news is that UPS is ready to deliver.”

The last day to ship with UPS for packages to arrive by Christmas is December 23, but the company urges customers not to wait if they don’t have to.

“Early is best. Shopping early, shipping early and allowing us to deliver early for you is going to be the best recipe for success this year,” Shelton added.

Here are the recommended 2021 holiday shipping deadlines for major shipping companies to help you get your packages in the mail on time.

United States Postal Service (USPS) 2021 holiday shipping deadlines

For delivery before Dec. 25:

USPS Retail Ground: Dec. 15

First Class Mail: Dec. 17

Priority Mail: Dec. 18

Priority Mail Express: Dec. 23

UPS 2021 holiday shipping deadlines

For Dec. 24 delivery:

UPS Ground: UPS recommends its self-service options for calculating delivery time

UPS 3 Day Select: Dec. 21

UPS 2nd Day Air: Dec. 22

UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 23

FedEx 2021 holiday shipping deadlines

Recommended last days to ship for delivery by Dec. 25:

FedEx Ground and Freight Economy: Dec. 9

FedEx Home Delivery: Dec. 15

FedEx Ground: Dec. 15

FedEx Freight Priority and Direct: Dec. 15

FedEx Express Saver: Dec. 21

FedEx 3Day Freight: Dec. 21

2Day & 2Day AM: Dec. 22

FedEx 2Day Freight: Dec. 22

FedEx 1Day Freight: Dec. 23

FedEx Extra Hours: Dec. 23

FedEx Same Day: Dec. 24

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