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The UPS Christmas Holiday Schedule 2021: The Dates You Should Know

UPS 2021 Holiday Schedule. Here are all the important dates you need to know to make sure that your customers receive their holiday orders on time.
The UPS Christmas Holiday Schedule 2021: The Dates You Should Know

By Jules


June 19, 2020

With its UPS holiday schedule, United Parcel Service (UPS) is able to effectively ensure that its millions of customers can send and receive parcels in time for the holidays. Whether it’s New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, or Christmas, your customers will be ordering tons of gifts during the peak season, which means you need to get your shipping in order.

For some eCommerce retailers, it can be a challenge to make sure that their shipments get to their destinations on time, especially if couriers face delays because of the high shipping volumes that are typically seen during the holidays. That’s why if you operate an eCommerce store, you need to know the UPS holiday schedule for 2021 and their relevant shipping cutoff dates so that you make sure your customers receive their orders in time for their celebrations.

Once you understand these dates, you can use Easyship to smooth the shipping process even more. Whether you use the platform to access your own UPS rates or not, you’ll have access to Easyship’s suite of useful functions that make shipping easy, from automated labels and branded tracking to transparent taxes and pickup scheduling.

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Table of Contents

The UPS Holiday Deadlines for 2021

Each year, there are a number of major holidays that eCommerce store owners should have on their radar. Online shopping peaks around these holidays, so you’ll need to be prepared for this with enough inventory, great promotions, and of course, a strong stripping strategy.

Knowing the 2021 UPS holiday schedule will help you understand when the last date you’ll be able to ship orders to customers for the holidays is; you’ll also be able to keep your customers aware of shipping cutoffs so they know to place their orders well ahead of time. Below, you’ll find all the info you need about the UPS holiday schedule this year.

Resource: Holiday Shipping Deadlines in the US

Christmas Deadlines - Friday, December 24 - Saturday, December 25, 2021

The UPS holiday schedule for 2021 shows that on Christmas Eve, the courier will operate almost as normal. Parcel delivery will operate normally, but pickup for air shipments must be scheduled before December 18. Freight services will be closed, and UPS stores will operate with modified hours. Christmas Day is another major holiday so the courier will not offer any pickup or delivery services on this day; additionally, all UPS stores will be closed and no freight services will be offered. Of course, UPS Express Critical shipments will still be accepted. Your Christmas cutoff dates for UPS should be:

  • UPS Ground Shipping: December 16
  • UPS Next Day Air: December 23
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22
  • UPS 3 Day Select: December 21

New Year’s - Saturday, December 31, 2021 - Sunday, January 1, 2022

On New Year’s Eve, UPS will operate with a slightly modified service. Deliveries will only be available for air services; for pickups, air services must be scheduled by December 18. No freight will be operating, and UPS store locations will have shorter hours. On New Year’s Day, no services will be available, except, again, UPS Critical Express. If you need an order to arrive before New Year’s, these are the shipping deadlines you should use:

  • UPS Ground Shipping: December 11, 2021
  • UPS Next Day Air: December 23, 2021
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: December 22, 2021
  • UPS 3 Day Select: December 21, 2021

Independence Day - Sunday, July 4, 2021

This major American national holiday is observed on a Saturday this year, and as a result, the UPS 2021 holiday schedule stipulates that there are no UPS pickup or delivery services available on this day. The only exception are shipments scheduled with UPS Express Critical service, which will still be available, albeit at a very high price. Here are the Independence Day shipping cutoffs for UPS:

  • UPS Ground Shipping: June 29
  • UPS Next Day Air: July 3
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: July 2
  • UPS 3 Day Select: July 1

Labor Day - Monday, September 6, 2021

On this holiday, some of the UPS Store locations may be closed and the only delivery and pickup services offered are those scheduled in advance. UPS Freight is also closed. Since the holiday is preceded by a weekend, you’ll want to ensure your Labor Day shipments arrive to your customers by Friday, September 3. For this, the shipping deadlines are:

  • UPS Ground Shipping: August 31
  • UPS Next Day Air: September 4
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: September 3
  • UPS 3 Day Select: September 2

Columbus Day - Monday, October 11, 2021

Although Columbus Day is officially a holiday, the UPS schedule shows that the courier will maintain normal operations for the day. This means all ground, air, and freight will ship as normal and UPS store locations will be open. So, you don’t need to offer specific shipping cutoff dates for this holiday, since your shipments will be handled normally.

Veteran’s Day - Thursday, November 11, 2021

Since this holiday is about recognizing America’s veterans for their service to their country, it’s not what’s considered a statutory holiday. So, once again, UPS will operate its courier services as usual, and its stores will operate with their normal hours.

Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 25

According to the 2021 UPS holiday schedule, Thanksgiving is a major holiday, so the company won’t offer any delivery or pickup services on this day. Most UPS store locations will be closed, and all UPS ground, freight, and air services will be suspended for the day. The only exception, once again, is UPS Express Critical, which you can use to send emergency shipments. If you intend to ship around Thanksgiving, these are the deadlines you should keep in mind:

  • UPS Ground Shipping: November 20
  • UPS Next Day Air: November 24
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: November 23
  • UPS 3 Day Select: November 21

Black Friday, Friday, November 26  and Cyber Monday, Monday, November 29
Black Friday is always the day immediately after Thanksgiving; this is swiftly followed by Cyber Monday, which is the following Monday. In both cases, retailers see a massive surge in online shopping due to the incredible deals that are available on these days. Sometimes, the sales are extended for a full week, which means that shipping volumes are huge for several days. It’s considered one of the busiest times on the holiday schedule.

To assist with this, on Black Friday, the courier will maintain normal operations for ground and air services, and keep stores open; however, its freight services will be temporarily suspended for the day. But, for Cyber Monday (and the rest of the week), you can expect to use the full complement of services. Since purchases on your store will be made on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and not before the holiday itself, you shouldn’t need to worry about shipping cutoffs for this weekend.

How Easyship Can Help Ship Your Holiday Orders

UPS has maintained its position as one of the best parcel delivery service providers in the US for years. With its 2021 UPS holiday schedule, eCommerce store owners can use this renowned service and efficiently arrange for shipments to be delivered to their customers or loved ones on time for every given holiday.

Plus, integration with Easyship can help you ensure timely UPS shipments all year round. Don’t forget that the Easyship Covid-19 resources hub can also help you align your deliveries so that you can avoid your parcels being delayed by the pandemic. Just sync your knowledge of the UPS holiday schedule for 2021 with our information on courier operations, and you won’t have to worry!

This post was updated on January 5, 2021 to reflect new information.