Can I Still Ship a Package if it’s After the Ship Date?

You can still ship a package if it's past the ship date...but you shouldn't wait too long
calendar past the ship date
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Generally speaking, you can ship a package after the ship date you selected when you purchased your label. That’s at least the case when it comes to USPS. If the current date is after the ship date on your postage, your package will still be accepted at your local Post Office. However, if you’re shipping with USPS, we don’t suggest waiting more than two or three days after you create your postage.

Be Careful Not to Ship Too Far After the Ship Date

While USPS will accept a majority of packages after the date on the label, it’s generally up to the discretion of the postal worker who accepts your package. We’ve seen postal clerks accept packages with ship dates that are weeks old, and we’ve also seen some refuse packages with a ship date that’s just a couple. of days old. Due to this, we always suggest shipping your package as close to the ship date you chose as possible.

Another reason we suggest shipping as close to your select date is because of the price you may pay for waiting. It’s not uncommon for shipping carriers to raise postage prices over the course of a year (or sometimes sooner). In some cases, postage purchased at an earlier date may not be accurate for future dates. Therefore, we always recommend that you ensure you have the proper amount of postage before scheduling or dropping off a shipment. This is especially true if you decide to buy postage online and hold onto it for the future.

You Can Typically Choose Your Shipping Date Up to 7 Days in Advance

When you use shipping software to buy postage online, USPS allows you to select your ship date up to 7 days in advance. So, if you know you won’t be able to send out the package for a few days, you can always buy time by selecting a ship date that’s a bit further down the line! This way, you’ll minimize your chances of USPS refusing your package if you wait to drop off your package after you first purchase your label.

What About Other Carriers Other than USPS?

Other carriers are a bit more lenient than USPS when it comes to using a label with a ship date much older than the day you drop your package off. For instance, UPS will accept your package up to 100 days after you purchase your label! Technically, you can still ship your UPS package if you wait longer than the initial 100-day period, but you’ll need to pay a small “PLD” fee on top of the cost of your postage. As of July 2022, the PLD fee for a late UPS package is $2.

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  1. Jesse

    These articles are terrible. I’ve been in mail-order for close to 40 years. Try to ship within 2-3 days of the date on the postage? HA! I’ve shipped much later than that literally *THOUSANDS* of times with ZERO problems. Try to ship right away bc the postage could change? USPS builds in long grace periods for this. Come on.

  2. Sarah Nsereko

    Hello can I use pirate ship to send parcels from South Africa?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Sarah, I believe Pirate Ship only offers USPS postage, which means that you can only use it to ship packages from the United States. You’ll need to have a valid US physical address to sign up and use their software. You could look into some other shipping software options that sell FedEx and DHL postage though!


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