It's not too early to think about when to ship holiday gifts.
FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service all expect to deliver a record number of packages this holiday season, which is six days shorter than in 2018 and the shortest since 2013.
“This holiday season, we’ve prepared like never before,” UPS CEO David Abney said in a statement. “UPS has invested billions in our facilities, our air fleet and our workforce. We have the capacity for, and are committed to, serving the unique needs of all our customers.”
To avoid long lines, take note that the Postal Service’s busiest time of the season is two weeks before Christmas. This year, the first night of Hanukkah is Dec. 22 and the Jewish holiday continues through Dec. 30.
To help them make sure your gifts get to their final destination on time – and save a little money – here are a few key shipping deadlines to pay attention to.
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Holiday shipping deadlines
These are the three major carriers' recommended send-by dates for expected delivery by Dec. 25:
Dec. 14: USPS Retail Ground shipments
Dec. 18: Alaska to mainland First-Class Mail
Dec. 19: Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 20: First Class
Dec. 21: Priority Mail; Also deadline for Alaska and Hawaii to the mainland through Priority Mail Express
Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express
International shipping and military mail deadlines are earlier. Learn more at www.usps.com.
Dec. 9: SmartPost
Dec. 16: Ground and home delivery
Dec. 19: Express Saver
Dec. 20: Two-day options
Dec. 23: Overnight options
Dec. 25: FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City Direct and City Priority
Find rates and transit times at www.fedex.com.
Dec. 13: Last day to ship some UPS Ground packages
Dec. 19: UPS 3 Day Select
Dec. 20: 2nd Day Air
Dec. 23: Next Day Air
Learn more at www.ups.com
Related: Amazon holiday delivery dates
Amazon shopping deadlines
Amazon has announced the dates for Prime members and all customers to place orders for delivery by Dec. 25. However, dates can vary by item and delivery speed.
Dec. 14: Last day to order and get free delivery on orders over $25, free for all customers
Dec. 18: Last day to order items eligible for standard shipping, free for Prime members
Dec. 22: Last day for free delivery on tens of millions of items for Prime members
Dec. 23: Last day for free one-day delivery on more than 10 million items for Prime members
Dec. 24: Last day to order millions of items eligible for Same-Day Delivery (free for Prime members in eligible areas on orders over $35, order by 9:30 a.m. local time). Also free two-hour grocery delivery, reserved exclusively for Prime members in select cities.
Learn more at www.amazon.com/holidaydelivery.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Holiday shipping deadlines: When to ship with FedEx, UPS, USPS, Amazo