Wednesday is the last day for Canada Post to ship packages in time for Christmas

Canada Post has delivered mail in "record numbers" this holiday season, the postal service says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Last-minute gift-givers beware — the clock is ticking down to send your holiday packages in time for Christmas.

Those who want to have their package delivered in time for Christmas using standard shipping only have until end of day on Wednesday, Dec. 11 to get their packages to the nearest Canada Post office, according to a delivery schedule on the postal service’s website.

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If you’re willing to pay a little bit more, the last days to get your package sent within Canada in time for Christmas are Dec. 20 and Dec. 23 for express and priority shipping, respectively.

Those who want to send holiday cards have a bit more leeway, however.

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If you want to send a holiday card in your city, the last day to do so is Dec. 20, while sending a card to someone in your same province has to be done by Dec. 19.

The last day to a mail card to anyone else in Canada so that it arrives by Christmas is Dec. 18.

International shipping

If you’re sending a package to the U.S. and want it there by Christmas, sending it by priority or express shipping will be your only option. The deadline to send a package to any state with express shipping is Friday, Dec. 13.

According to the Canada Post website, if you are sending a package to the U.S. by priority shipping, you have until Dec. 19.

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While the deadline has passed for surface international shipping to the rest of the world, if you send your package by priority shipping to Asia, Australia or New Zealand by Dec. 17, to Europe or Central or South America by Dec. 18 or to Africa or the Middle East by Dec. 13, it will still arrive by Christmas.

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In a statement emailed to Global News, Canada Post said the deadlines are for consumer-to-consumer shipments — for example, someone sending gifts to a friend or family member.

“There is plenty of time to shop online for Canada Post to deliver it for Christmas,” the statement reads.

Canada Post said it works with retailers across the country to provide options “right up to the last minute.”

‘Record numbers’

Canada Post said its holiday delivery plans are in “full effect,” with more than 960,000 parcels delivered over the weekend and a record 2.2 million delivered on Monday.

“We are on pace to continue delivering up to 1.7 million parcels a day, which is up from the average of 1.4 million we’ve been delivering since Nov. 10,” the statement reads.

Canada Post said the winter weather has been “moderate” in major centres, which has allowed the company to deliver “in record numbers” while keeping employees safe.

The statement said Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping resulted in “heavy incoming volumes,” but plants have been running at capacity 24-7 to process parcels, packets and mail, and employees have been “busy working through them.”

Canada Post said nearly 3,800 seasonal employees have been hired to help in processing and delivering this holiday season.

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“That’s on top of the more than 50,000 employees serving the customer in deliver, processing and retail,” the statement reads.

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