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Finding the perfect gift for everyone in your life is rarely an easy process (thankfully we have tons of gift guides to help you).
But the search is not over when you have finally chosen something. You need to make sure it actually arrives on time, which will be particularly challenging this year as warnings of “sold out” have tripled since January 2020. A global crisis in the supply chain has hit everything from ugly Christmas sweaters to cardboard with no guarantees to improve , even though new facilities are being added.
Therefore, it is recommended to start your gift shopping even earlier this year if you want your gifts to arrive on time. Additionally, it would be good to look at the 2021 shipping deadlines issued by FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service to ensure you have enough time to ship your gift.
If time is running out, many retailers offer in-store pick-up options that let you bypass the holiday shipping delays and snatch your gifts the very day you order them. Just make sure to send your gifts according to the shipping deadlines below.
The second option is to consider e-gifts, such as gift cards that your recipients can deposit at a later date or virtual classes, digital books and audiobook subscriptions that they can use right away.
If you want to receive your gifts before Christmas, these are the dates, times and shipping options you should know:
2021 negotiates shipping deadlines
While some deadlines have been exceeded, you can order some Apple products as late as December 24th, and most deadlines fall on December 22nd. You can see all of Apple’s 2021 holiday shipping deadlines here. Here are some of the highlights:
Apple TV 4K: December 15th
MacBook Pro 13 “and MacBook Air: December 17th
iPad Pro 12.9 inch: December 22nd
iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max: December 22nd
Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 3: December 22nd
AirPods Max and AirPods Pro: December 22nd
HomePod mini: December 22nd
Apple TV HD: December 22nd
One-day delivery items: December 23rd
Same day delivery and free 2-hour delivery of groceries in selected cities: 24. December
Amazon eGift Card or Amazon Prime Membership: December 25th
You can see the estimated delivery time of each item when you go to checkout.
Most major home delivery products: December 21st
Selected items can be sent per 24. December if it is ordered per December 23 or 24.
Most items must be ordered per December 16th, but some may be affected by longer delays. You can see the estimated delivery time when you add an item to your shopping cart.
Although some deliveries are no longer guaranteed this year, here are some important interruptions to know:
2 days delivery: December 19th13.00 CST
1-day delivery: December 20th13.00 CST
Most items qualify for free 2-day shipping, so you should be able to order before noon December 22nd to receive gifts before December 24th.
Standard delivery: December 20th
2021 shipping company shipping deadlines
Of the shipping services, FedEx offers the most options for getting your package delivered, with options even available on Christmas Eve. Note: The deadlines below are exclusive to the United States.
- FedEx Earth and Home Delivery: December 15th
- FedEx Express Saver: December 21st
- FedEx 2Day and 2DayAM: December 22nd
- FedEx 1-Day Shipping: December 23rd
- FedEx same day: 24. December
With the options listed below, you can ship as late as December 23 with UPS. UPS stores are closed on Christmas Day, but you can still look at the UPS Express Critical service if you have a great need.
- UPS Ground: Calculate on the UPS website
- UPS 3 day selection: December 21st
- UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22nd
- UPS Next Day Air: December 23rd
US Postal Service:
With USPS, it’s as easy as getting shipping materials online or from your local post office, printing shipping labels and delivering your package (or scheduling a pickup).
Post offices may have varying opening hours as we get closer to the holidays, so save yourself the hassle and check if your place is open here.
- USPS Retail Ground: December 15th
- USPS premium mail: December 17th
- USPS Priority Mail: December 18th
- USPS Priority Mail Express: December 23rd
For deadlines for Alaska, Hawaii and international shipping, read more here.
DHL has not yet released an official calendar of shipping deadlines for 2021, but it is likely to assume a cut-off on December 15 for all of its domestic shipping services. Shipping internationally is more difficult, but you can get a price and time quote for your specific shipment here.