USPS News & Information


holiday presents in a boxThe holiday shipping season is right around the corner! Make sure you let your customers know when they need to place their orders or what type of shipping service they need to use to ensure that their holiday cards and packages make it to their recipients by Dec. 25. Below is a complete list of 2016 USPS holiday shipping deadlines.

Domestic Mail Classes Holiday Shipping Schedule

Domestic Mail Class/Product Cutoff Date
First-Class Mail® Dec. 20
Priority Mail® Dec. 21
Priority Mail Express®* Dec. 23
Standard Post™ Dec. 15
DNDC Drop Ship™ Dec. 19
DDU Drop Ship™ Dec. 22
International Mail See Below
Priority Mail Express Military APO/FPO/DPO See Below

*Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec. 22-25

International Mail Holiday Shipping Schedule

International Mail Addressed To Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)** Priority Mail Express International™ (PMEI) Priority Mail International® (PMI) First-Class Package International Service™ (FCPIS)
Africa Dec. 20 Dec. 8 Dec. 1 Dec. 1
Asia/Pacific Rim Dec. 20 Dec. 15 Dec. 8 Dec. 8
Australia/New Zealand Dec. 20 Dec. 15 Dec. 8 Dec. 8
Canada Dec. 22 Dec. 17 Dec. 10 Dec. 8
Caribbean Dec. 22 Dec. 15 Dec. 10 Dec. 8
Central & South America Dec. 21 Dec. 10 Dec. 1 Dec. 1
Mexico Dec. 21 Dec. 15 Dec. 8 Dec. 8
Europe Dec. 21 Dec. 15 Dec. 10 Dec. 8
Middle East Dec. 19 Dec. 15 Dec. 10 Dec. 8

**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.

APO/FPO/DPO Holiday Shipping Schedule

Deadlines for mailing to specific APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Codes vary according to the specific classes of mail. Please also remember that all mail addressed to overseas military/diplomatic Post Offices is subject to certain conditions and restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling.

Military Mail Addressed To/From Priority Mail Express Military™ Service (PMEMS) 1 First-Class Mail® Letters and Cards Priority Mail® Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) 2 Space Available Mail (SAM) 3 Retail Ground
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 090-092 Dec. 16 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Dec. 2 Nov. 25 Nov. 7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP 093 N/A Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Nov. 25 Nov. 7
APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIPs 094-098 Dec. 16 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Dec. 2 Nov. 25 Nov. 7
APO/FPO/DPO AA ZIP 340 Dec. 16 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Dec. 2 Nov. 25 Nov. 7
APO/FPO/DPO AP ZIPs 962-966 Dec. 16 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Dec. 2 Nov. 25 Nov. 7

1 PMEMS: is available to selected military/diplomatic post offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.
2 PAL: is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Standard Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface price for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
3 SAM: parcels are paid at Retail Ground prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis.

2016 Holiday Season Import Dates*

Surface Air EMS
LC/AO   Dec. 1 LC/AO   Dec. 10 Dec. 19
CP         Dec. 1 CP         Dec. 10  

*Provides mailing guidelines for foreign postal partner in order to meet December 25 delivery.

Dec. 1 Last day to send parcel post packages via surface transportation
Dec. 1 Last day to send letters, flats and small packages via surface transportation
Dec. 10 Last day to send priority packages via air transportation
Dec. 10 Last day to send letters, flats and small packages via air transportation
Dec. 19 Last day to send Express Mail Service items (any shape)

Mail class by code:
LC = Letters, aerogrammes (USPS no longer offers outbound aerogrammes), cards and letter package
AO = Newspapers, magazines, matter for the blind, printed matter, small package
CP = Packages - parcel post (surface), priority (air)