Christmas shipping dates: Here are your deadlines

Onslaught of orders a test for carriers

The holiday pressure is mounting for shoppers, who are facing a shrinking window to ship their gifts on time before the big day

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And carriers and online retailers alike are feeling the pressure to deliver -- literally. FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service are doing their part to help shoppers navigate the stress-inducing time by providing recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before Dec. 25.

Monday, Dec. 23 is the last day for USPS Priority Mail Express for shoppers in the 48 contiguous states. Monday is also the last day for FedEx Overnight, UPS Next Day shipping and Amazon's One-Day delivery option.

"We're committed to helping you navigate the busy holiday season so you can take full advantage of every available shipping day," UPS said.

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Here are some deadlines for U.S. shoppers to pay attention to when shipping within the U.S:

U.S. Postal Service (excluding Alaska and Hawaii)

  • Dec. 23 Priority Mail Express

“Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions, including customs delays. Some restrictions apply, “ the Postal Service warned on its website.

For more details and international shipping dates, visit USPS.com

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FedEx

  • Dec. 23: Overnight options 
  • Dec 25: SameDay, SameDay City Direct and City Priority

For more details and international shipping dates, visit FedEx.com.

UPS

  • Dec. 23: UPS Next Day

"UPS has been working hard throughout the year preparing to provide the same reliable service this holiday season that you trust us to deliver year-round," the carrier wrote on its site.

UPS noted that due to “increased volume this season a “limited number of packages with certain origins and destinations may experience additional time” while in transit.

For more details and international shipping dates, visit UPS.com.

Amazon 

  • Dec. 23: Last day for One-Day delivery. This is free for Prime members with no minimum purchase.
  • Dec. 24: Last day for Same-Day delivery. This is for select areas only for $9.98 per item. It’s free for Prime members on qualifying orders over $35.

The above dates and delivery speed may vary by item, according to Amazon.

For more information on Amazon shipping dates, visit Amazon.com.

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Six years ago, millions of packages were late for Christmas when UPS and FedEx were stymied by bad weather and last-minute online shopping. Since then, Amazon has been building its own delivery network to give it more control over when and how its packages are delivered. It has leased jets, built package-sorting hubs at airports and launched a program that lets contractors start delivering packages in vans.

This year promises to be a test of its progress: 42 percent of all online sales during the holiday season are expected to go to the Seattle-based company, according to consulting firm Bain & Co.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.