It’s important to know what potential delays you may encounter around the holidays. With various hindrances to the USPS & UPS (including Covid-19 and the upcoming holidays), it becomes even more important to plan ahead to ensure that the gifts you send to your contacts arrive at an appropriate time.
Important things to review and set up in your Postal account include (but are not limited to):
Add Funds (we suggest enabling Auto Reload to avoid Processing Errors due to Insufficient Balance - please understand the consequences of this action)
Set a Budget (or disable it to avoid Processing Errors due to Insufficient Budget - please understand the consequences of this action)
Approve Marketplace items in Postal for you and your team(s) to send
Setup up Campaigns, Playbooks, and Triggers - have a strategy for each
USPS Holiday Schedule
Veterans Day: Thursday, November 11th, 2021
Veterans Day is a federal holiday occurring annually on November 11th to honor citizens that served in the military. USPS locations will be closed with no delivery service on this federal holiday. It’s recommended that shipments arrive by Tuesday, November 9th.
USPS Priority Mail Express: Next day, ship by November 8th
Priority Mail: 1-3 days, ship by Friday, November 6th
First-class Mail: 1-3 days, ship by Friday, November 6th
USPS media mail: 2 to 8 days, ship by Friday, October 30th
USPS retail ground: 2 to 8 days, ship by Friday, October 30th
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 25th, 2021
As one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, Thanksgiving is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. USPS stores countrywide will be closed with no delivery. It’s recommended that shipments arrive by Tuesday, November 23rd. It’s important to check with your local branch to learn about the USPS holiday hours. The estimated USPS holiday shipping deadline for Thanksgiving is as follows:
USPS Priority Mail Express: Next day, ship by Monday, November 22nd
Priority Mail: 1-3 days, ship by Friday, November 19th
First-class Mail: 1-3 days, ship by Friday, November 19th
USPS media mail: 2 to 8 days, ship by Friday, November 12th
USPS retail ground: 2 to 8 days, ship by Friday, November 12th
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021: Friday, November 26th, and Monday, November 29th
Two of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday arrives right after Thanksgiving with Cyber Monday following the next Monday. eCommerce merchants experience high volumes of orders during this weekend rush due to the numerous sales and deals offered across the industry.
In most situations, sales are extended the whole week with heightened shipping volumes all through; unlike other holidays, this is considered one of the busiest times for shipping couriers.
To help fulfill shipping volumes, USPS maintains its normal operations for both ground and air services. Since customers may make purchases on Black Friday or during cyber Monday, you shouldn’t be worried about deliveries as the courier will ship in the course of the week. Be sure to check the USPS holiday hours at your local branch during this busy season.
UPS Holiday Schedule
Veteran’s Day: Thursday, November 11, 2021
Since this holiday is about recognizing America’s veterans for their service to their country, it’s not what’s considered a statutory holiday. UPS will operate its courier services as usual, and its stores will operate with their normal hours.
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 25
According to the 2021 UPS holiday schedule, Thanksgiving is a major holiday, so the company will not offer any delivery or pickup services on this day. Most UPS store locations will be closed, and all UPS ground, freight, and air services will be suspended for the day. The only exception is UPS Express Critical, which you can use to send emergency shipments. If you intend to ship around Thanksgiving, these are the deadlines you should keep in mind:
UPS Ground Shipping: November 20
UPS Next Day Air: November 24
UPS 2nd Day Air: November 23
UPS 3 Day Select: November 21
Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Friday, November 26, and Monday, November 29
Black Friday is always the day immediately after Thanksgiving and is followed by Cyber Monday, which takes place the next week on Monday. In both cases, retailers see a massive surge in online shopping due to the incredible deals that are available on both days. Sometimes, sales are extended for a full week meaning shipping volumes see a massive increase for several days. It’s considered one of the busiest times on the holiday schedule.
On Black Friday, the courier will maintain normal operations for ground and air services and keep stores open; however, freight services will be temporarily suspended for the day. For Cyber Monday (and the rest of the week), you can expect to use the full complement of services. Since purchases on your store will be made on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and not before the holiday itself, you shouldn’t need to worry about shipping cutoffs for this weekend.
Christmas Deadlines: Friday, December 24 - Saturday, December 25, 2021
The UPS holiday schedule for 2021 shows that on Christmas Eve the courier will operate almost as normal. Parcel delivery will operate normally, but pickup for air shipments must be scheduled before December 18. Freight services will be closed, and UPS stores will operate with modified hours. Christmas Day is another major holiday, so the courier will not offer any pickup or delivery services on this day; additionally, all UPS stores will be closed and no freight services will be offered. UPS Express Critical shipments will still be accepted. Your Christmas cutoff dates for UPS should be:
UPS Ground Shipping: December 16
UPS Next Day Air: December 18
UPS 2nd Day Air: December 18
UPS 3 Day Select: December 19
New Year’s: Saturday, December 31, 2021 - Sunday, January 1, 2022
On New Year’s Eve, UPS will operate with a slightly modified service. Deliveries will only be available for air services. Pickups for air services must be scheduled by December 18. No freight will be operating, and UPS store locations will have shorter hours. On New Year’s Day, no services will be available except UPS Critical Express. If you need an order to arrive before New Year’s, these are the shipping deadlines you should use:
UPS Ground Shipping: December 11, 2021
UPS Next Day Air: December 23, 2021
UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22, 2021
UPS 3 Day Select: December 21, 2021