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Here’s when you should ship your packages to make sure they arrive in time for the holidays

Postal employees sort millions of letters and packages at Baltimore's Main Post Office at the start of the year's busiest week for shipping.

Baltimore’s holiday shipping with the U.S. Postal Service is expected to jump by nearly a quarter this year, Baltimore’s postmaster said.

Postmaster Le Gretta Ross-Rawlins said the post office expects to ship more than 9.7 million packages in her Baltimore district — 23% more than last year.

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“This is our season,” she said Monday. “We prepared for this a year ago, right? And we’ve been doing this for 200 years.”

That surge has officials from the post office and private shipping services emphasizing deadlines during what’s anticipated to be the busiest week of holiday mailing.

U.S. Postal Service deadlines

To ensure that gifts arrive in time, the Postal Service recommends using the following deadlines:

Wednesday: APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express

Friday: First-class mail and packages

Saturday: Priority Mail

Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express

Postal employee Tru Wright separates packages from letters before feeding a belt for automated sorting at the Baltimore's Main Post Office at the start of the biggest week of the year for shipping.
Postal employee Tru Wright separates packages from letters before feeding a belt for automated sorting at the Baltimore's Main Post Office at the start of the biggest week of the year for shipping.(Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

United Parcel Service deadlines

United Parcel Service recommends the following deadlines for Dec. 24 delivery:

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Thursday: UPS 3 Day Select

Friday: UPS 2nd Day Air

Monday: UPS Next Day Air

FedEx deadlines

FedEx recommends the following deadlines:

Thursday: FedEx Express Saver

Friday: FedEx 2Day

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Dec. 23: FedEx Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight

Dec. 25: FedEx SameDay

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