Post office gives deadline advice
The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail : for a total of nearly 16 billion cheerful deliveries this holiday season.
Customers planning to mail cards and packages are encouraged to visit a local post office no later than the following dates for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:
• Dec. 4 : APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP code 093 only) priority mail and first-class mail
• Dec. 11 : APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP codes) priority mail and first-class mail
• Dec. 14 : USPS retail ground
• Dec. 18 : APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP code 093) USPS priority mail express
• Dec. 20 : First-class mail (including greeting cards)
• Dec. 20 : First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
• Dec. 20 : Hawaii to mainland priority mail and first-class mail
• Dec. 20 : Priority mail
• Dec. 20 : Alaska to mainland priority mail and first-class mail
• Dec. 22 : Alaska to mainland priority mail express
• Dec. 22 : Hawaii to mainland priority mail express
• Dec. 22 : Priority mail express
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $17.40 on its largest priority mail flat-rate box.
The price includes a $1.50-per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.
To handle the surge in volume, the Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery operations in certain high-package-volume locations during the holiday season.
More than 5 million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December.
Mail carriers will also deliver priority mail express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.
Customer mailing and shipping traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 10, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.
The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly 3 billion pieces of first-class mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.
Consumers who don’t want to leave home to ship their packages can go to usps.com.
The Postal Service said it anticipates that Dec. 17 will be its busiest day online with more than 8 million consumers expected to visit usps.com.
It’s predicted that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the website between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
It’s estimated nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services Dec. 17 to order free priority mail boxes, print shipping labels, buy postage and request free next-day package pickup.