Christmas Shipping Deadlines For Your Etsy Shop | 2020

Every holiday season I seem to scramble to get my packages out for Christmas. I need a list of cut off dates for shipments going out in time for the Christmas deadline.

The fast-paced holidays are almost here. As you are busy prepping your online store for the rush, we have researched all important shipping cut off dates for the major carriers you need to know now.

US small business owners on Etsy know the struggle of Christmas shipping all too well! Yes, there’s excitement. But it’s mixed with a bundle of nerves and confusion about whether your customer’s orders will actually reach them in time.

Well, that’s about to change. I’ve looked into the Christmas shipping deadlines for your favorite mail carriers, so you don’t have to. After all, it’s never too early to get organized for the holidays!

So, shall we get into the deadlines?

Christmas Shipping Deadlines 2020

Feel free to skip to the mail carrier you and your Etsy shop prefers! You’ll find Christmas shipping deadlines for USPS, UPS, and FedEx here.


On Christmas day, all United States Postal Service stores are closed throughout the country, thus there are no deliveries. But, since the holidays are exceptionally busy for mail services, some offices will stay open on the Sundays leading up to the main event. This will prove to be incredibly helpful for us eCommerce shop owners.

For those of you who just want a quick overview of the domestic USPS shipping deadlines for Christmas 2020, stay here. However, if you’re looking for a more in-depth look at the international cutoff dates, you’ll want to check the table below!

The Overview

  • Priority Mail Express: you need to ship by Tuesday, December 22nd
  • Priority Mail: you need to ship by Monday, December 21st
  • First-Class Mail: you need to ship by Monday, December 21st
  • Standard USPS Retail Ground: you need to ship by Monday, December 14th

The International Shipping Dates

CountryGXG (Global Express Guaranteed)PEMI (Priority Mail Express International)PMI (Priority Mail International)First Class Mail International
 Ship by:Ship by:Ship by:Ship by:
Australia and New ZelandDecember 19December 14December 7December 7
Asia and Pacific RimDecember 19December 14December 7December 7
AfricaDecember 19December 7November 30November 30
CaribbeanDecember 19December 14December 7December 7
CanadaDecember 19December 14December 7December 7
Central America and South AmericaDecember 18December 7November 30November 30
MexicoDecember 18December 14December 7December 7
EuropeDecember 19December 14December 7December 7
The Middle EastDecember 19December 14December 7December 7


Like with the United States Postal Service, UPS takes into account Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Depending on the items you sell, you might well be supplying your customer’s New Year’s celebrations as well as Christmas festivities.

So, let’s look at each of these dates in turn.

December 24th, 2020: Christmas Eve

  • UPS Pickup for Air: as long as you arrange this by December 18th, you can use this service.
  • UPS International Air Services: as long as you arrange this by December 18th, you can use this service.
  • Ground Service: no pickup available on this date.
  • UPS Stores: they have different business hours. You should check your local store for more information.
  • UPS Freight: not available unless you schedule it before with the Service Center or Urgent Services Department.
  • UPS Express Critical: available 365 days a year.

December 25th, 2020: Christmas Day

  • Mail Services: none in operation on this date.
  • UPS Stores: they are all closed.
  • UPS Freight: if you schedule in advance, you can use this service on Christmas Day!
  • UPS Express Critical: available 365 days a year.

December 31st, 2020: New Year’s Eve

  • UPS Pickup for Air: as long as you arrange this by December 24th, you can use this service.
  • UPS International Services: as long as you arrange this by December 24th, you can use this service.
  • Ground Services: no pickup available.
  • UPS Stores: open as normal.
  • UPS Freight: open but modified. You need to allow for the standard shipping time plus 1 working day.
  • UPS Express Critical: available 365 days a year.

Regardless of the service you use, I suggest you make sure you get all of your UPS shipping done by the 18th of December at the latest.


FedEx has always known the importance of holiday shipping. This year, they’re stepping up their game even further! They are delivering shipments until December 24th, 2020. So, all you need to do is make sure your orders are out of your stock room by December 20th at the latest and you’re good to go. Of course, you’re better off being earlier than that, otherwise, your shipping cost will be extortionate!

How to Add a Shipping Policy to Your Etsy Shop

Now you know exactly when you should ship your items, how are you going to let your customers know? This is where shipping policies come in. Don’t stress, it’s easy to modify/add one to your Etsy store.

  1. Click “Shop Manager”.
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Select “Info ; Appearance”.
  4. Click “Policies”.
  5. Type/Modify your policies in the “Delivery Policy” box.
  6. Click “Save”.
  7. You’re all done!

In conclusion

You got this! Being ready for the holiday season is half the fun of running your online shop. Be prepared, on target, and know your dates so you can service your customers without the stress and enjoy the holiday season with our friends and family.

Written by Lisa

Lisa Lividoti Blogger and Owner of Homebyliv Etsy Shop

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