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The holidays are quickly approaching and analysis of last year’s data shows that, while shoppers are likely to finalize more than half of their purchases before the last minute, many consumers will continuing purchasing holiday gifts right up until final shipment and delivery dates will allow.

Customer experience is a core aspect of the success of any business and failure to deliver a product to a last-minute shopper before the day they need it can produce a negative interaction. We know that news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience and that it takes 12 positive brand interactions to make up for one negative one.

With that in mind, the following ship and delivery dates for U.S. carriers are particularly important for gaining customer loyalty during the holiday season. It’s wise to be as upfront as possible to your consumers regarding these dates.

FedEx Shipping Deadline Within the U.S.

  • Dec. 12: Last day to ship via FedEx SmartPost
  • Dec. 17: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 20: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver
  • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
  • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight
  • Dec. 25: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay

Shipping deadlines for packages headed to Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and other international destinations vary. See FedEx’s Last Days to Ship site for more information.

UPS Shipping Deadlines Within the U.S.

  • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via UPS Next Day Air

For international shipping deadlines and other holiday-related information, click here.

U.S. Postal Service Deadlines Within the U.S.

  • Dec. 15: Last day to send packages via standard parcel post
  • Dec. 20: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail & Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23: Last day to send packages via Priority Express Mail

The deadline for shipping packages internationally varies based on the destination. In some cases, the deadlines are as soon as Dec. 2.

Editor’s Note: In the case of any changes to these dates, we’ll update this article appropriately with footnotes here to denote the date on which the changes were last made.

Photo: Flickr, Sarah McKagen

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