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Navigate the Festive Season: Your Essential Guide to UPS Holiday Service Schedules 2024

Need to navigate UPS’s 2024 holiday schedule for your shipments? This article lays out the UPS holiday service schedules for 2024 so you won’t miss a beat. From New Year’s hustle to Christmas buzz, understand which services are operating and when to plan your shipping without hitches or delays.

Key Takeaways

  • The UPS holiday schedule for 2024 includes several observed holidays such as New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Christmas Day, with Express Critical services available during these times to ensure urgent packages are delivered.
  • UPS offers different service levels during the holidays, like UPS Ground Shipping, Next Day Air, and Express Critical, to cater to various shipping needs and delivery timelines.
  • To manage high-volume shipping periods effectively, UPS recommends preparing in advance, utilizing their shipping tools strategically, and maintaining clear communication with your customers and family to set delivery expectations.

UPS Holiday Calendar 2024: Key Dates to Remember

The festive season can be a whirlwind, and amidst all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to overlook critical shipping dates.

Familiarizing yourself with the UPS holiday schedule is key to a successful shipping experience during this time.

The UPS holiday schedule for 2024 includes the following observed holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Each holiday holds a special significance in the annual calendar. These significant dates could potentially impact your shipping plans, so it’s wise to coordinate your shipments around them to prevent possible delays.

  • New Year’s Day
    • New Year’s Day is a significant holiday, and like many other businesses, UPS observes it too.
    • But don’t fret if you have urgent deliveries that can’t wait. UPS offers Express Critical services even on New Year’s Day, ensuring your important packages reach their destination.
    • It’s a good idea to organize your shipments ahead of time to reduce the risk of delays during the holiday season. Remember, a little foresight can ensure your New Year starts off on the right foot!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • Martin Luther King. Jr. was a prominent leader in the civil rights movement. He’s best known for his role in fighting for racial equality and justice through nonviolent methods.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is commemorated on the third Monday of January annually, and unlike many other holidays, UPS doesn’t take a break. UPS remains operational, ensuring pickup and delivery services are available, and many UPS Store locations stay open.
    • On this day you can rely on UPS to handle your shipping needs without disruption. However, to guarantee a seamless experience, it’s advised to verify the specific operating hours of your local UPS Store.
  • Memorial Day
    • Memorial Day, a day to honor and remember those who have served our country, is a key date in the UPS holiday schedule. On this day, UPS pauses its regular pickup and delivery services.
    • If you have time-sensitive deliveries that can’t wait, UPS Express Critical service remains at your disposal.
    • It’s often beneficial to schedule your shipments around these significant dates for efficient and punctual deliveries.
  • Independence Day
    • As the nation celebrates Independence Day, UPS also observes this holiday. On this day, UPS store locations are closed, and regular pickup or delivery services are unavailable.
    • If you have an urgent delivery, UPS offers a custom service, UPS Express Critical®.
    • Being aware of Independence Day and other holidays in advance enables you to coordinate your shipments appropriately, thereby preventing any last-minute inconveniences.
  • Labor Day
    • Labor Day, a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, is another key date in the UPS holiday schedule.
    • On this day, UPS suspends its regular pickup and delivery services.
    • By preparing in advance and making sure your shipments are sent off well before Labor Day, you can minimize any potential delivery delays.
  • Thanksgiving Day
    • Thanksgiving Day is a time for gratitude and family gatherings, and for UPS it’s a day of rest. 
    • All UPS services except for UPS Express Critical are suspended on this day.
    • If you have packages that need to be delivered urgently, UPS Express Critical service remains at your disposal.
    • It’s always advantageous to schedule your shipments well ahead of the holiday season to guarantee a seamless delivery process.
  • Christmas Day
    • As Christmas Day is celebrated, UPS pauses its regular pickup and delivery services, allowing its employees to enjoy the holiday.
    • In the spirit of Christmas, UPS doesn’t leave its customers in the lurch. The UPS Express Critical service remains available for your urgent holiday deliveries.
    • To guarantee that your packages arrive at their destination before Christmas, be sure they’re sent off by December 19th.

Understanding UPS Service Levels During Holidays

Knowing the various UPS service levels during holidays is akin to having a detailed map for your holiday shipping journey.

During the holidays, UPS provides a variety of service levels, such as UPS Ground Shipping, UPS Next Day Air, and UPS Express Critical. Each is designed to accommodate different shipping requirements.

Understanding these service levels can help you navigate the holiday shipping landscape with ease and precision.

  • UPS Ground Shipping
    • UPS Ground Shipping is a reliable and economical choice for less time-sensitive deliveries. Although the service remains operational during holidays, there are exceptions, including:
      • New Year’s Day
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
      • Independence Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Christmas Day
    • Despite these disruptions, UPS Ground Shipping prides itself on its impressive on-time delivery rate, thus making it a reliable option for your holiday shipping needs.
  • UPS Next Day Air
    • If speed is a priority, UPS Next Day Air is your go-to option.
    • This express delivery service ensures next-day delivery by 10:30 a.m., allowing items to reach their destination the morning after being shipped.
    • If you need a more economical option, UPS 2nd Day Air is also available, providing delivery within two business days.
    • Like UPS Ground Shipping and UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air also observes certain holidays, ceasing operations on:
      • New Year’s Day
      • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
      • Independence Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Christmas Day
  • UPS Express Critical
    • When every minute counts, UPS Express Critical service comes to the rescue.
    • This specialized service is designed to handle time-sensitive deliveries every day of the year, including holidays.
    • UPS Express Critical is a premium and time-sensitive service provided by UPS, and it generally comes with higher shipping costs compared to standard shipping options.
    • UPS Express Critical is designed for urgent and critical shipments that require the fastest possible delivery times, often within the same day or next flight out.
    • The shipping cost for UPS Express Critical is influenced by various factors, including the weight and dimensions of the package, the distance it needs to travel, and the level of urgency for delivery.
    • Additionally, factors such as the mode of transportation (air, ground, or a combination) and any additional services requested (e.g., specialized handling, dedicated vehicles) can impact the overall cost.
    • While UPS Express Critical may be more expensive than standard shipping services, it provides a high level of speed, reliability, and priority handling, making it suitable for critical shipments that require immediate attention.
    • If you’re considering using UPS Express Critical, it’s advisable to contact UPS directly or use their online tools to obtain specific pricing information based on your shipment’s details.
    • Keep in mind that shipping costs can vary, and it’s essential to weigh the urgency of delivery against the associated expenses.
    • Even when other UPS services are on a holiday break, UPS Express Critical service guarantees that your urgent deliveries arrive at their destination.

Managing High-Volume Shipping Periods

The holiday season is synonymous with high-volume shipping periods. It’s a time when demand surges, and businesses need to be well-prepared to handle the influx.

By gearing up for peak seasons, making use of UPS holiday operations, and maintaining effective communication with customers, businesses can proficiently manage these high-volume shipping periods.

  • Preparing for Peak Seasons
    • Being prepared for peak seasons is like having an ace up your sleeve. It allows you to stay ahead of the curve and manage your shipping efficiently. UPS suggests the following strategies to tackle the peak shipping seasons:
  • Early planning.
  • Advanced shipment booking.
  • Prioritizing shipments by mode.
  • Ensuring readiness for unforeseen circumstances.
  • By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your shipping operations run smoothly during peak seasons.
  • Utilizing UPS Shipping Tools
  • In the world of shipping, having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. UPS offers a suite of shipping tools, from online ordering of packaging and supplies to printing shipping labels and advanced software for bulk shipping needs.
  • These tools can help manage high-volume shipping periods effectively, ensuring your shipments are dispatched and delivered without a hitch.
  • Communicating with Customers
  • When it comes to handling high-volume shipping periods, communication plays a pivotal role.
  • It’s crucial to set clear expectations, provide regular updates, and maintain consistent contact with customers.
  • From updating automated order and shipping messages, to personalizing dialogue, effective communication strategies can go a long way in managing customer expectations during high-volume shipping periods.

Tips for Avoiding UPS Holiday Delays

Although the holiday season is a time of celebration, it can also be a time of potential shipping delays.

Nevertheless, by taking a few proactive measures such as preparing in advance, keeping an eye on weather conditions, and utilizing expedited shipping services, you can bypass these delays and guarantee your packages arrive promptly.

  • Plan Ahead and Ship Early
    • When it comes to avoiding holiday shipping delays, the early bird indeed gets the worm. Planning ahead and shipping early not only helps to beat the holiday rush but also minimizes last-minute shipping congestion.
    • By dispatching your shipments well before the holiday shipping deadlines, you can mitigate any potential delivery delays.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions
    • Weather is another crucial factor that can impact holiday shipping.
    • Inclement weather conditions like high winds, heavy rain, or snow can lead to interruptions or delays in UPS services.
    • By keeping track of weather forecasts, you can make necessary adjustments to your shipping plans and reduce the possibility of delayed deliveries.
  • Use Expedited Shipping Services
    • Utilizing expedited shipping services during the holiday season can be a game-changer. These services provide faster delivery and can be a lifesaver when standard shipping timelines are prolonged due to increased volume and potential weather-related delays.
    • When time is of the essence, express courier services can ensure your packages reach their destination swiftly and safely through their expedited shipping services.

Navigating UPS Store Locations and Operating Hours

Being aware of the path of least resistance when shopping or shipping can spare you a considerable amount of time and inconvenience during the holiday season. 

Whether it’s checking the UPS Store Locator, contacting local UPS stores, or exploring alternative drop-off locations, understanding how to navigate UPS can make your shipping experience smoother:

  • Checking UPS Store Locator
    • The UPS Store Locator is your reliable resource for identifying available UPS store locations and their operating hours. 
    • By entering your location, this handy tool displays the nearest stores and their operating hours.
    • It’s important to remember that the store locator may not include all UPS stores and drop boxes, so for specific details it’s always a good idea to directly contact the store.
  • Contacting Local UPS Stores
    • While the UPS Store Locator is a helpful tool, nothing beats direct communication.
    • Whether it’s to confirm operating hours or inquire about services, contacting your local UPS store can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
    • Keep in mind, a swift call or visit can often save you significant time and ward off any potential misunderstandings.
  • Alternative Drop-off Locations
    • If your local UPS store is closed or not conveniently located, don’t worry. UPS offers alternative drop-off locations for your convenience. UPS Access Point locations serve as alternative drop-off and ups pickup spots, providing flexible operating hours, and convenient locations.
    • So, even when your local UPS store is out of reach, you can still get your packages on their way to their destination using delivery or pickup services.

International Shipping Deadlines for the 2024 Holiday Season

When it comes to international shipping, timing is of the essence.

Knowing the international shipping deadlines for UPS services like UPS Worldwide Express, UPS Worldwide Saver, and UPS Worldwide Expedited can ensure your packages reach their international destinations on time.

Here’s a quick-reference to keep you on the right track:

  • UPS Worldwide Express
    • UPS Worldwide Express is a reliable choice for your international shipping needs.
    • This service guarantees delivery within 1-3 business days to over 220 countries, with designated delivery times in certain countries. However, it’s important to note the holiday deadlines for this service.
    • In 2024, the holiday deadlines for UPS Worldwide Express include:
      • New Year’s Day
      • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
      • Independence Day
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Christmas Eve
      • Christmas Day
  • UPS World Saver
    • For less urgent international shipments, UPS Worldwide Saver is a great option.
    • This service ensures end-of-day delivery within 1-3 business days based on the destination.
    • Despite the less urgent delivery timeframe, UPS Worldwide Saver maintains its regular pickup and delivery schedule during the holiday season, making it a dependable choice for your international shipping needs.
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
    • If you’re shipping non-urgent items internationally, UPS Worldwide Expedited is the service for you.
    • This service guarantees delivery within 2-5 business days by end-of-day. During the 2024 holiday season, the shipping deadline for UPS Worldwide Expedited is December 19th.
    • So, even when your packages don’t need to reach their destination overnight, you can still ensure they arrive on time with UPS Worldwide Expedited.

How to Track Your UPS Holiday Shipments

Once your packages are en route, it’s vital to keep a track of them, particularly during the bustling holiday season.

By using the UPS Tracking Tool and setting up shipment notifications, you can stay informed about the status of your packages and manage any potential issues proactively.

  • Using UPS Tracking Tool
    • The UPS Tracking Tool is like a personal GPS for your packages. By entering your UPS Delivery Notice number or the original tracking number, you can get comprehensive details about your package’s whereabouts and expected delivery time.
    • Whether you’re dispatching gifts to your loved ones or meeting customer orders for your business, the UPS Tracking Tool can assist in keeping everything in order.
  • Setting Up Shipment Notifications
  • In addition to using the UPS Tracking Tool, setting up shipment notifications can further streamline your shipping process.
  • By joining UPS My Choice® for free, you can manage your shipments from a central dashboard, receive status notifications and updates, and even schedule deliveries for when you’ll be home.
  • By setting up shipment notifications, you can stay informed and guarantee a smooth holiday shipping process.


  • Understanding UPS holiday service schedules is like having a roadmap for successful holiday shipping.
  • From knowing the key holiday dates that affect UPS services, to understanding the various UPS service levels, knowledge is power.
  • By staying mindful of shipping schedules, you can efficiently manage high-volume shipping periods, therefore avoiding holiday delays.
  • It’s also helpful to become fluent in navigating UPS store locations, knowing the international shipping deadlines, and tracking your shipments.
  • Each step ensures a smoother and more efficient shipping experience.
  • So  as you gear up for the festive season, remember to plan, prepare, and pack your way to successful holiday shipping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the last day to ship UPS for Christmas?

  • The last day to ship with UPS for Christmas is December 19th for UPS 3-Day Select, and December 20th for UPS 2nd Day Air.
  • Plan accordingly to ensure your packages arrive on time.

Do UPS work on bank holidays?

  • No. UPS is closed on bank holidays such as New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
  • UPS Express Critical service remains available.

Does UPS deliver on Saturdays?

  • Yes, UPS offers delivery on Saturdays as an additional service for certain packages, which can be selected when placing the order.
  • UPS does not deliver on Saturdays by default.

Does UPS deliver on Sundays?

  • UPS does not typically deliver on Sundays, but it has a partnership with USPS for Sunday deliveries for economy parcels, and their UPS Store locations are open on Sundays for other services.
  • So, for most packages, Sunday delivery is not available through UPS.

What holidays does the UPS store close?

  • UPS typically closes on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
  • UPS Express Critical service is still available during these closures.