WASHINGTON — Many consumers are in a sprint to the finish regarding getting their holiday gifts and greetings in the mail. This week is expected to be the busiest week of the holiday mailing and shipping season for the Postal Service. The agency plans to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of mail, which includes packages, this week alone. In the two weeks leading up to Christmas, Dec. 10-23, the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages each week.
Overall, the Postal Service anticipates delivering nearly 15 billion total pieces of mail and more than 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — for a total of almost 16 billion joyful mail and package deliveries this holiday season.
The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and, to handle the surge in holiday volume, the agency is expanding its Sunday delivery operations in select high package volume locations. USPS expects to deliver more than 8 million packages each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also provide Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day in select locations.
Wrap it Up and Put a Bow on it From Home
It’s predicted that today will be the busiest day for online postal consumers. Nearly 400,000 customers will visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. It’s expected that almost five million consumers will take advantage of convenient online services, like Click-N-Ship, to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free next-day Package Pickup. And unlike many brick-and-mortar stores, usps.com is always open.
2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends using the following mailing and shipping deadlines*:
· 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
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the transfer was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.
What’s New this Year
Informed Delivery is the Postal Service’s free daily digital preview of what’s coming to your mailbox. This holiday season, not only can you manage your packages and sneak a peek at cards headed your way, you can also see some exterior images of magazines and catalogs — all from your mobile app, dashboard, tablet or computer. Informed Delivery is one more way the Postal Service is helping you anticipate, communicate and celebrate this holiday season.
The Postal Service offers shipping tips in ten videos “how to” guides. The videos, which are three minutes or shorter, address topics such as how to adequately address packages, ship packages and pack a box, so items arrive safely.
Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found on the Postal Service online holiday newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.