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Important Christmas shipping deadlines are this week

The U.S. Postal Service is using a new sorting machine to keep up with the rush of packages.

ST. LOUIS — Need to mail a package or card for Christmas? Some important shipping deadlines are this week.

The U.S. Postal Service said the week of Dec. 13 is the busiest shipping week of the holiday season. It estimates about 2.3 billion pieces of first class mail will be delivered this week. 

USPS is coming off a tumultuous 2020 holiday season. It admitted key delivery targets were missed and said it was overwhelmed with a record amount of packages and short staffing because of a surge in COVID-19

To be ready for the rush of packages this holiday season, the postal service is leasing warehouse space to serve as extra processing facilities and has more than 100 new sorting machines. One of the new machines was installed last summer at a warehouse in Hazelwood, near the old Mills Mall. 

"This machine can process 3,200 parcels per hour. This is one of 112 machines we've installed throughout the country. We are prepared for the holiday season," said Mark Inglett with USPS Strategic Communications. 

The leased warehouse spaces around the country and the new sorting machines are part of a $40 billion investment under a 10-year plan USPS calls Delivering for America. 

The Postal Service also planned to hire 40,000 seasonal jobs to meet holiday demand.

USPS 2021 HOLIDAY SHIPPING DEADLINES:

  • 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

FEDEX 2021 HOLIDAY SHIPPING DEADLINES:

  • FedEx Ground - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
  • Home Delivery - Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021
  • Express Saver - Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021
  • 2Day & 2Day AM  - Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021
  • Overnight Services - Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021
  • FedEx Same Day - Friday, Dec. 24, 2021

UPS 2021 HOLIDAY SHIPPING DEADLINES: