Holiday shopping is in full swing — But even with consumers starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever this year, there will always be last minute shoppers. In fact, 40% of shoppers will wait until the last 10 days before Christmas to shop for their holiday gifts! Make sure you’re prepared to boost customer confidence and drive sales this holiday season by accounting for and communicating holiday shipping cutoff dates.

What are Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates?

Holiday shipping cutoff dates refer to specific dates that packages need to be in the carrier’s possession in order to reach their final destination in time for the holidays. These recommended ship-by dates factor in both lead times (i.e., the period between when a customer places an order and when their order is shipped) and transit days (i.e., the number of days it will take for their order to arrive).

Why are Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates Important?

Boxes stacked high for large holiday order quoted by ShipperHQ's automated shipping solution

When it comes to gifting’s busiest season, cutoff dates significantly influence consumers’ online purchase decisions. I mean think about it, the last thing customers want is to worry about their gifts arriving on time. Regardless of whether they are early bird shoppers or last-minute shoppers, consumers want assurance that their order will be delivered by or before December 25th, and if that’s not possible, they expect you to let them know upfront. So, how do you ensure you deliver on this expectation? Glad you asked!

Step 1: Know Your Holiday Shipping Deadlines

When calculating your delivery timelines, it’s important that you account for all relevant holiday shipping cutoff dates, as well as your own lead time, to ensure that your customers receive their orders on time. You may also want to consider adding in an extra day or two of padding on your cutoff dates to combat potential shipping delays. It’s better for customers to be surprised by an early delivery than to be frustrated by a late one.

Step 2: Ensure Your Customers Are Well-Informed

By establishing transparent communication and showing customers clear and accurate shipping cutoff dates on your site and at checkout, you will not only set clear delivery expectations but eliminate any unnecessary guessing at checkout and deliver a superior online shopping experience that will keep customers coming back all year round.

Major Carrier Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates

To help you plan your holiday shipping strategy, we’ve compiled a list of 2022 holiday shipping cutoff dates to ensure you keep shipping on time during the most wonderful (and busiest) time of the year. Here are all of the essential holiday shipping cutoff dates for USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

ServiceHoliday Shipping Cutoff Date
USPS Retail GroundDec. 15
USPS First Class MailDec. 17
USPS Priority MailDec. 19
USPS Priority Mail ExpressDec. 23
A full list of holiday shipping deadlines can be found here

UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

ServiceHoliday Shipping Cutoff Date
UPS GroundCheck for details
UPS 3 Day Select Dec. 20
UPS 2nd Day AirDec. 21
UPS Next Day AirDec. 22
A full list of holiday shipping deadlines can be found here

FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines

ServiceHoliday Shipping Cutoff Date
FedEx GroundDec. 14
FedEx Freight Priority Dec. 14
FedEx Express SaverDec. 20
FedEx 2Day ServicesDec. 22
A full list of holiday shipping deadlines can be found here

Please note that the above shipping cutoff dates are recommended send-by dates for U.S. domestic shipments to arrive before December 25, 2022. Actual delivery dates may vary depending on various factors such as origin, destination, acceptance date and time.

Happy Holidays from ShipperHQ!

Giving online shoppers the easy and transparent online shopping experience they want (and expect) this holiday season could be as simple as communicating when they should order.

Show your customers clear and accurate cutoff dates, follow through on your delivery date promises, and you’ll put your store at the at the top of their Christmas list for years to come.

Offer your customers guaranteed delivery dates by clicking here to begin your free ShipperHQ trial

Need help calculating cutoff dates and lead times for your eCommerce store? Get in touch with one of our shipping experts, or sign up for a 15-day free trial to see how ShipperHQ works for you. Wishing you all good luck and swift shipping speeds this holiday season!