2023 US Shipping Deadlines

November 16th, 2023 Comments off

In order to keep your customer satisfaction high during the busiest time of the year, it’s crucial to communicate holiday shipping deadlines to your customers. As a quick reminder, holiday shipping deadlines are the last dates to send a package with your chosen carrier for it to reach its destination by the holidays.

Applying these holiday shipping deadlines to services allows carriers to account for the higher shipping volume, ensuring your customer’s orders are under the tree and into stockings on time. The earlier you let your customers know, the better the customer experience…and the better the chance of getting great customer reviews and engagement during the holiday season. 

When do packages need to be mailed for Christmas delivery 2023?

Shipping deadlines will vary by the carrier and service, but most carrier deadlines range from 6-12 days before December 25th. It’s also important to note that domestic and international services each have their own set of shipping deadlines, so keep this in mind when preparing your holiday shipments. The domestic shipping deadlines for USPS, UPS, and FedEx can all be found below.

UPS® Holiday Shipping Deadlines

  • UPS 3 Day Select®: Tuesday, December 19, 2023
  • UPS 2nd Day Air® services: Wednesday, December 20, 2023 or Thursday, December 21, 2023 with Saturday Delivery options
  • UPS® Ground: Check ups.com/ctc for details
  • UPS® Ground Saver: Check ups.com/ctc for details
  • UPS Next Day Air® services: Thursday, December 21, 2023, or Friday, December 22, 2023 with Saturday Delivery options

As a commitment to Stamps customers, UPS will not apply the recently announced Demand Surcharges†. Take advantage of discounts of up to 78% off on UPS® Ground shipments, up to 73% for UPS Next Day Air® and UPS 2nd Day Air® service, and up to 82% off on international services, with rates that include Fuel Surcharge and Residential Surcharge for all services and Delivery Area Surcharge for domestic services.*

*Discounts off UPS® Daily Rates. Rates are limited to shipping from the U.S. only. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

†Demand Surcharges are not applied to accounts opened on Stamps. 

USPS® Holiday Shipping Deadlines

In addition to these dates, USPS has confirmed that there will be no additional surcharges during the upcoming holiday season. This means that customers can fully enjoy the benefits of USPS services without worrying about unexpected costs.

  • USPS Ground Advantage™: Saturday, December 16, 2023
  • First-Class® Mail: Saturday, December 16, 2023
  • Priority Mail: Monday, December 18, 2023
  • Priority Mail Express*: Wednesday, December 20, 2023

USPS® Holiday Shipping Deadlines for Alaska and Hawaii

  • USPS Ground Advantage™: Saturday, December 16, 2023
  • First-Class® Mail: Saturday, December 16, 2023
  • Priority Mail: Monday, December 18, 2023 (Alaska), Saturday, December 16, 2023 (Hawaii)
  • Priority Mail Express*: Wednesday, December 20, 2023

FedEx® Holiday Shipping Deadlines

  • FedEx Ground Economy: Wednesday, December 13, 2023
  • FedEx Ground:  Visit FedEx’s website for more information about shipping deadlines for FedEx Ground® 
  • FedEx Home Delivery: Visit FedEx’s website for more information about shipping deadlines for FedEx Ground® 
  • FedEx Express Saver: Tuesday, December 19, 2023
  • 2Day & 2Day AM: Wednesday, December 20, 2023
  • FedEx SameDay: Friday, December 22, 2023

USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping holidays 

All of the wonderful individuals who sort, handle, and deliver our mail and packages deserve a break during the busy holiday season too! Shipping holidays are designated days where postal workers, delivery drivers, and other people within this field are given time off and most or all services are suspended for the day. The shipping holidays for USPS, UPS, and FedEx are all outlined in the lists below. 

USPS shipping holiday schedule 2023*

  • Thanksgiving Day: November 23, 2023 
  • Christmas Day: Monday 25, 2023 

*Note: We’re only including the USPS holidays for the holiday season. A full list of USPS shipping holidays can be found on their website. 

UPS shipping holiday schedule 2023*

  • Thanksgiving Day: November 23, 2023 
  • Christmas Eve: December 24, 2023
  • Christmas Day: December 25, 2023

*Note: We’re only including the UPS holidays for the holiday season. A full list of UPS shipping holidays can be found on their website. 

Some of The UPS Store® locations may have modified business hours. Check with your local store for specific hours of operation.

FedEx shipping holiday schedule 2023*

  • FedEx shipping holidays vary by service and by date throughout the holiday season. Visit FedEx’s website for a complete list of FedEx shipping holidays. 

Unwrap branded notifications with Stamps.com 

You’ve communicated shipping deadlines to your customers. How else can you continue to improve customer satisfaction during the busiest shipping season of the year? Stamps.com merchants can enable branded ship notifications and branded tracking to give customers a personalized experience. 

Branded ship notifications allow your business to customize emails with your logo, preferred color scheme, and more. Additionally, your business can add social media links and promo messages to give customers access to special deals. Similar to branded ship notifications, branded tracking is a more personalized alternative to a traditional carrier tracking page. Our branded options can be enabled and customized throughout the year, so you aren’t limited to one specific message. Create shipping notifications in advance and cross another item off your to-do list, all while keeping the holiday season merry and bright for your customers. 

Make the holidays merry and bright with a 30-day trial to Stamps.com.


Creating a Successful Holiday Shipping Strategy

October 24th, 2023 Comments off

As the holiday shopping season quickly approaches, our recent study in partnership with Retail Economics shows that 44% of US customers are still concerned about inflation going into the holiday season. According to our partner, Retail Economics, North American customers will spend $183 billion on holiday shopping through online marketplaces. And your business deserves to be included in those sales! Customer preferences for the holiday shipping season have been made known, and your business still has time to incorporate their feedback before the holiday rush. 

Start your holiday preparations early 

It may seem early, but 41% of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before October. With early bird shopping well underway, your business needs to start holiday preparations as soon as possible. Marketing to early holiday shoppers is beneficial because it not only has the potential to boost current sales, but it also gives your business the opportunity to test marketing strategies. Pay close attention to which coupon codes seem to be redeemed more than others and which items they’re being used for. It’ll come in handy when more customers begin their holiday shopping and during big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

If you aren’t sure where or how to begin, we recommend customizing the branded ship notification emails feature within your Stamps.com account. Branded ship notifications let your business add promo materials to shipment confirmation emails. Adding exclusive sales to reward early shoppers increases the likelihood of a repeat customer base. Additionally, testing sales materials early is a good way to see what works and what doesn’t before the holiday season officially begins. 

To personalize branded ship notification emails: 

  1. Select the Settings button. 
  2. Click the Branded Features button, followed by the Brand Settings button.
  3. Once selected, the Branded Settings dashboard will open. 
  4. From here, you’ll customize the color scheme, logo, social media links, and other information. 
  5. After you’ve completed all of these steps, find the Emails tab. 
  6. Choose which settings you would like to change i.e., if emails aren’t sent until tracking is available for customers. Also, confirm the reply-to email and display name are both accurate. 
  7. Click Publish Now.   

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Include expedited shipping options for customers

With Christmas landing on a Monday, there may be an increased demand for expedited shipping options. Our study found that 61% of customers are willing to pay $9 more for same-day delivery when placing orders between $40-$60. Many customers are buying stocking stuffers, family gifts, friend gifts, and more, meaning this purchasing threshold isn’t uncommon. 

Expedited shipping options are carrier services that offer a faster delivery window than traditional services. These services include overnight shipping, where a customer receives a package the day after it’s ordered (or two days if the item was ordered after the shipping cutoff on the first day). We understand that offering these options may not be available for your small business. As a compromise, it might be worth offering services with guaranteed service delivery options. This way, there’s an available refund option if a package doesn’t arrive within the guaranteed delivery window.* 

Additionally, communicating shipping deadlines is crucial. Shipping deadlines are the last dates a package can be shipped and still arrive in time for Christmas. Offering premium shipping options is expensive. But, if your business shares shipping deadlines for the carrier services you provide customers, it’ll decrease the chance of customer dissatisfaction, increasing the chance for repeat business. 

*Note: These delivery guarantees might fluctuate during the holiday season, so we recommend reaching out to your carrier directly.

Rate Advisor 

To determine the best shipping options for your business, Stamps.com users have access to our rate advisor. Our rate advisor allows you to compare rates through three different categories: cheapest, recommended, and fastest. These rates are populated based on the shipment information entered, and you’re able to filter by carrier, delivery window, packaging, and price. This way, you can find the best rate for your business and still meet customer expectations. 

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Expand to marketplace and store selling 

Our study shows that holiday purchases made through online marketplaces have the potential to reach $253 billion globally, with, as we mentioned earlier, $183 billion of this amount coming from North America. If you’ve been hesitant to sell on marketplaces like Amazon in the past, now’s the time to start. Stamps.com users can easily integrate stores and marketplaces into their accounts so that eligible orders show on the orders screen. 

With eligible orders automatically imported to your Stamps.com, it’s easy to create labels and packing slips. After your labels are printed, we’ll send the tracking information to Amazon, so they can send shipment confirmation emails to your customers. Amazon offers seller support within the seller portal for additional help with Amazon questions, and Stamps.com users can reach our support team via phone from Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm PT at 1-855-889-7867 or via email, with a 1-2 business day response time. 

Amazon Prime Days 

Amazon has announced that October Prime Day(s) will return this October 10th-11th, giving your business the opportunity for a test run. Early holiday shoppers will more than likely take advantage of Prime Day deals, so it’ll also help your business predict popular holiday items. Keep an eye on which items are flying off the shelf vs the ones that are collecting dust, and use these trends when planning holiday inventory. 

Prioritize shipping insurance 

All of the upcoming holiday gatherings may mean your customers aren’t home whenever packages are set to arrive. Our study found that 37% of customers are worried about packages being stolen, so it’s time to make shipping insurance a priority. Most carriers include either insurance or declared value with their services. These insurance options are usually around $100-$200, depending on the service, but some services do come with the option to purchase supplemental coverage. If a package is damaged or lost, you can file a claim to see if you’re eligible for reimbursement. 


For high-value items, it’s also worth considering extra third-party shipping coverage from providers like our partner, ParcelGuard™. The cost of ParcelGuard will vary by the amount of coverage added to a shipment and can be added in the Mail or Orders tab; it’s also charged in the cost of your label, so there’s no need to worry about invoicing or surprise charges. ParcelGuard claims are filed electronically and through your Stamps.com account. Give your customers the gift of security this holiday season and offer shipping coverage options. 

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Holiday shipping tips for ecommerce businesses 

This holiday season is on track to be a big one for ecommerce merchants. Customers are already preparing their shopping lists, and some are already shopping. Here are a few ways you can make sure this holiday season is a prosperous one: 

  • Include detailed information about tracking shipments 
  • Expand your online selling to marketplaces like Amazon 
  • Offer expedited shipping options whenever/wherever possible 
  • Enable branded tracking shipment emails to avoid unattended packages 
  • Utilize carriers with included insurance options and consider purchasing more insurance for more expensive items 

Keep the holiday season merry and bright with a trial to Stamps.com.

USPS Proposed 2022 Holiday Shipping Rate Increase Beginning October 2 

August 26th, 2022 Comments off
Learn more about the proposed 2022 USPS Peak Surcharges.

Continuing with the annual rate increases that began in 2020, USPS has announced its proposed Peak Season Temporary Rate Adjustments. The adjustments serve to cover extra holiday handling costs. In accordance with years prior, the following services will be impacted: Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground rates. Pending favorable review by the Postal Regulatory Committee, the USPS Peak Season Temporary Rates would go into effect at 12 a.m. Central on Oct. 2 and remain in place until 12 a.m. Central on Jan. 22, 2023.

Note: There are no planned rate adjustments on International Services, parcel return rates, or Parcel Select Lightweight rates.

2022 Holiday Shipping Rate Increases 

Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express – 2022 Holiday Shipping Rate Increase (Commercial Base)

  • Commercial:
    • $0.75 increase for PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes
    • $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs
    • $0.80 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs
    • $0.75 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-25 lbs
    • $2.80 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-25 lbs
    • $3.00 increase for Zones 1-4, 26-70 lbs
    • $6.50 increase for Zones 5-9, 26-70 lbs

The most notable changes for the Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express rates from 2021 to 2022 are in Zones 5-9, with 26-70 pound shipments seeing a $1.50 increase over last year’s rate increase. 

First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground – 2022 Holiday Shipping Rate Increase (Commercial Base) 

  • Commercial:
    • $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs
    • $0.40 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs
    • $0.75 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-25 lbs
    • $1.60 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-25 lbs
    • $3.00 increase for Zones 1-4, 26-70 lbs
    • $5.50 increase for Zones 5-9, 26-70 lbs

Similarly to the previous set of rates, the most notable changes for First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground rates are found within Zones 1-9 for 26-70 pound shipments with a $.50 increase over last year’s rates. 

Save on shipping costs with Commercial USPS Rates and sign-up for a Stamps.com account today.

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