This year you want to wait until the last minute to mail your packages and Christmas presents thinking they will arrive on time?

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Test that assumption at your earliest convenience.

Or better yet, don't.

Houston, we have a shipping problem.

Chalk it up as another thing we can blame on the pandemic. There are supply shortages and shipping delays in the business world already. Stores of all types have been lamenting for a bit now about not being able to keep shelves stacked and meeting customers' needs when it comes to everything from merchandise to groceries.

Exactly why is that? We're glad you asked.

Clogged ports, a stressed trucking industry, labor shortages, higher demand, and higher shipping costs are all impacting shipments of toys, electronics, apparel, and more. The supply chain issues are not only impacting imports from China, where many of this year's hottest toys are made, but also shipments within the United States. (CBS News)

So if you're lucky enough to get the stuff you ordered, do yourself a favor and don't wait until the last minute to send it off for Christmas.

When do you have to ship it so it gets there in time for Christmas?

The middle of the month is optimal, but the closer you get to the 15th of December the window starts to close relatively quickly.

If you are planning on shipping gifts this year, here are the deadlines for the major shippers.

  • Dec. 15, USPS Ground; FedEx Ground
  • Dec. 17, First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 18, Priority Mail
  • Dec. 20, UPS Ground
  • Dec. 21, FedEx Express; UPS 3-day Select
  • (Source Credit: WILX)

Here are the shipping dates for 2021 as provided by the USPS.

2021 Holiday Shipping Dates for Contiguous U.S. (Lower 48 States)

Recommended send-by dates for expected delivery before December 251

Get the full list of mail-by-dates from the USPS HERE.

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