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Labor shortages and lingering supply chain issues could still play a role in this holiday shipping season. Photo AP/Jae C. Hong, File

Last minute shoppers beware – critical shipping dates are fast approaching. Here are the key dates you need to know for your packages to arrive by December 25.

The week starting December 12th is crucial for those who don’t want to pay for expedited shipping. FedExthe border for land transport is December 14 and the date for United States Post Office is a little later on December 17. According UPS Shipping Calendartheir ground dates for cross country are December 15 and 16.

Another date to remember this week is “National Free Shipping Daywhich falls on December 14. Since this is one of the last days of ground shipping, many retailers are waiving shipping costs altogether.

If you miss these deadlines, shipping by air is still an option. USPS gives deadlines of December 19 and 23 for priority mail, while FedEx express deadline is December 20. UPS offers 3-day delivery until December 20. However, according to Robert Gilbreath, CEO of logistics company ShipStation.

“The cost of this shipment has doubled or gone two and a half times [the price happens] pretty soon – Gilbreath said WCVB.

2022 seems to be a more promising holiday season than the last two years. The pandemic has resulted in an influx of packages from distant revelers in 2020, and supply chain issues have slowed deliveries in 2021.

However, according to ShipStation, labor shortages and persistent supply chain problems could also play a role this season. Gilbreath told WCVB that the best way to make sure gifts arrive on time is to try to ship ahead of schedule – and you’ve got plenty of time starting this week.

“If you have the ability to provide yourself with a buffer for a few days, why not do it?” He said.

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