Priority USPS holiday shipping deadlines fast approaching

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- If you're sending some of your Black Friday purchases to a loved one, especially at an overseas APO/FPO address, you'll want to get those presents wrapped sooner than later.

The deadlines for Parcel Post and Space Available have already passed. The deadlines for other shipping methods are in this story's photo.

The deadlines for shipping within the U.S. are as follows:

  • Dec. 15 - Standard Post - Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.
  • Dec. 19 - First Class Mail - Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.
  • Dec. 21 - Priority Mail - Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where the package starts and where it's being sent. Includes variety of Flat Rate options.
  • Dec. 23 - Priority Mail Express - Fastest domestic service, with guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations. Some restrictions and exceptions apply. Please note, Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25.


EMM - Available at select military/diplomatic Post Offices. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.

PAL - Provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Parcel Post Items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight for 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.

SAM - Parcels are paid at Parcel Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space available basis.

Mail addressed to military Post Offices overseas is subject to certain conditions or restrictions regarding content, preparation and handling. APO/FPO/DPO addresses generally require customs forms.

USPS officials said they are also offering a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box at $15.45. The price includes a $2 per box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/ Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.