Tis (almost) the season for holiday shopping, and this year is shaping up to be yet another banner year for online channels. E-commerce rose 32.4% in 2020 alone, , thanks in large part to a mix of local unavailability, disrupted supply chains, and the benefit of socially distanced shopping. As the pandemic roars on, so does the likelihood of logistics carriers being overwhelmed this holiday season by the influx of parcels.

To add yet another layer of complexity to the situation, the ongoing staffing shortage and other factors may delay normal shipping times. In fact, UPS estimates that demand will exceed capacity by as much as 5 million packages per day!

For merchants and shoppers alike, staying in tune with holiday shipping cutoff dates is more important than ever. We’ve done the research for you so you don’t miss a beat:

International Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates
Holiday cut off dates for international package shipping range from Nov 29 through Dec 13, depending on the destination country and mail service type. All Priority Mail International® and First-Class Package International Service® have a deadline of Dec 6, with the exception of Africa and Central/South America, which have a deadline of Nov 29.

Priority Mail Express International® provides a little extra time with a deadline of Dec 13, again with the exception of Africa and Central/South America, which have a deadline of Dec 6.

GlobalPost services’ deadlines range from Nov 29 through Dec 13. However, keep in mind these timelines don’t include time spent in customs for clearance.
Destination First-Class Package International Service* Priority Mail International* Priority Mail Express International* GlobalPost Economy International GlobalPost Standard International GlobalPost Plus
Africa 29-Nov 29-Nov 6-Dec 29-Nov 8-Dec N/A
Asia/Pacific Rim 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 8-Dec N/A
Australia/New Zealand N/A N/A 13-Dec 29-Nov 4-Dec N/A
Canada 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 8-Dec 8-Dec
Caribbean 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 8-Dec N/A
Central & South America 29-Nov 29-Nov 6-Dec 29-Nov 4-Dec N/A
Mexico 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 7-Dec
Europe 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 10-Dec 7-Dec
Middle East 6-Dec 6-Dec 13-Dec 6-Dec 8-Dec N/A
*Same deadlines apply for Global Advantage Program.

Domestic Mail Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates
USPS shipping deadlines for domestic mail vary from Dec 15 through Dec 23, depending on the parcel type. Priority Mail Express offers the most flexibility with a cutoff date of Dec 23. The full breakdown for domestic mail is below:
Domestic Mail Product 2021 Holiday Shipping Cut Off Date
Global Advantage Program Parcel Select Dec 13
First Class Mail* Dec 17
Priority Mail Dec 18
Priority Mail Express Dec 23
USPS Retail Ground Dec 15
DNDC Drop Ship (Marketing Mail) Dec 19
DSCF Drop Ship (Marketing Mail) Dec 21
DDU Drop Ship (Marketing Mail) Dec 22
*Same deadline applies for Global Advantage Program First Class.

Military Mail Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Sending parcels via USPS Retail Ground is the most stringent deadline when mailing to military addresses — the cutoff date is Nov 6. Priority Mail and First Class Mail letters and cards are more forgiving, with a cutoff date of Dec 9. If that’s still not enough time, Priority Mail Express Military Service extends its cutoff date through Dec 16.

Shipping to Alaska
When shipping to Alaska, plan to send items early. Cutoff dates range from Dec 2 (USPS Retail Ground) to Dec 21 (Priority Mail Express).

Shipping From Hawaii
Cut off dates when shipping from Hawaii range from Dec 3 (First Class and Priority Mail) to Dec 22 (Priority Mail Express), depending on the destination country.

Holiday shipping is always a burden for businesses, which is why we’re taking the guesswork out of the process. Contact us today and discover how GlobalPost is simplifying the 2021 holiday shipping season and beyond.
Let us help you with your shipping needs.