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Special Delivery and Seasonal Delays


Earlier this year, there was some concern about whether the USPS would be able to deliver mail-in ballots. With removed sorting equipment, missing  mailboxes, and reduced overtime work available, those concerns seemed well founded. However, the USPS pulled through, delivering more mail-in ballots than ever before in this country's history.

As direct marketers who cut their teeth on direct mail, we like to think the USPS can always pull through. But, this holiday season is going to be a challenge.

With millions of Americans following COVID lockdown, stay-at-home, and social distancing guidelines, the holidays will be an even greater mail order event than usual. "Home for the holidays" isn't a smart option for many of us, and gifts sent by mail (or FedEx or UPS) may feel like the next best thing. In fact, the USPS is planning to deliver 28 million packages per day from December 16-21, and 20.5 million thereafter for the rest of the year.

With all this traffic, how can you ensure your gifts are delivered on time? The major delivery services have published deadlines. Cards and packages should be mailed by or before these dates for delivery by Dec. 25:


Dec. 15: USPS Retail Ground Service, Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and Hawaii to mainland First-Class Mail

Dec. 18: First-Class Mail (including greeting cards), First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces) and Alaska to mainland First-Class Mail

Dec. 19: Priority Mail, Alaska to mainland Priority Mail

Dec. 19: Alaska to mainland Priority Mail

Dec. 21: Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express and Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express

Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express



Dec. 14: UPS Ground

Dec. 21: UPS 3-Day Select

Dec. 22: UPS 2nd Day Air

Dec. 23: UPS Next Day Air



Dec. 9: FedEx SmartPost

Dec. 15: FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground

Dec. 21: FedEx Express Saver

Dec. 22: FedEx Two-Day and FedEx Two-Day A.M. 

Dec 23: FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx First Overnight and FedEx Extra Hours

Dec. 25: FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Direct and FedEx SameDay City Priority


For most of us, 2020 has been like no year in memory. So, why should the 2020 holidays be any different? Mail early (mail often), if you want to avoid a last-minute disappointment and some last-minute stress.

We think there's been enough stress this year already.


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