(WHDH) — The United States Postal Service is already preparing for the holidays and urging people to get their presents shipped out earlier rather than later.

The USPS issued the following 2021 shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Christmas:

  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service

Those shipping items to or from Alaska or Hawaii have the following deadlines for expected delivery by Christmas:

Alaska

  • Dec. 18 — Priority and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

Hawaii

  • Dec. 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

People can ship their items from the comfort of their homes by heading to the USPS website, printing out a label for their package, and scheduling free package pickups.

The USPS anticipates that Dec. 19 will be their busiest day online with 12.5 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping holiday gifts.

The busiest time of the season for the USPS begins two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of Dec. 6, with the week of Dec. 13 to 18 anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week of the season.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox