US Postal Service urges early mailing of holiday packages

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FILE – In this Aug. 18, 2020, file photo, mail delivery vehicles are parked outside a post office in Boys Town, Neb. A U.S. judge on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide. The judge called them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

HARLINGEN, Texas — The U.S. Postal Service always encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early and this year is no different.

The Postal Service’s news release said because of the challenges of COVID-19 they are expecting significant volume increases which are difficult to predict.

To help handle the expected volume increase, the Postal Service has the ability to increase their network to meet the significant volume increases expected this year. This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Consumers do not have to leave home to ship their packages. In these socially distant times, they can simply visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup. And usps.com is always open.

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  • Dec. 9 APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 11 APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 15 USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 18 APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • Dec. 18 First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 18 First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 Priority Mail Express* service

Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces or are more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up.

Instead, take them to a local Post Office.

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