Want a package delivered before Christmas? Here are the dates you need to know

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Shipping deadlines for holiday packages are quickly approaching. For packages to arrive before Christmas, the three big carriers have several shipping deadlines this week.

The deadline for the standard delivery option for the United States Postal Service is Thursday, December 14. For the FedEx standard delivery, the deadline to ship is Friday, December 15. Monday, December 18, is the deadline for UPS's three-day select option.

"It's really busy. Next week is projected to be our busiest week," said Charlotte Postmaster Justin Anderson.

According to Anderson, nationwide USPS will deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail this holiday season, including 850 million packages.

"So it's about a ten-percent increase from last year, and we're seeing the same percent increase here in Charlotte," said Anderson.

To handle all of the additional mail, the post office will now be open on Sundays.

"We're opening the Ballantyne station on Sundays. We're open here at the downtown station on Sundays as well as the WT Harris station," said Anderson.

Each of the carriers will ship after the standard shipping deadlines, but be prepared to pay up.

"It'll cost you a little bit more money if you missed the shipping deadline in particular for standard shipping or first-class shipping," said Anderson.

For those planning to order gifts online and having them shipped, Friday, December 15 is free shipping day. Almost 900 retailers, including Amazon and Target, are participating.

Shipping on orders is free and comes with a guarantee that the package will be delivered by Christmas.

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