USPS recommends shipping packages early this holiday season

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A more than usual amount of gifts are expected to be sent through the mail this holiday season, and U.S. Postal Service administrators are encouraging packages be sent early so they arrive in time for Christmas.

“This has been an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the Covid-19 pandemic and the Postal Service is expecting significant volume increases which are difficult to predict,” a USPS news release states.

The Postal Service begins preparing for the peak holiday shipment season at the start of each year. Its network is flexible enough to meet the significant volume increases anticipated for this year.

“This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes. We also have 644,000 employees dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays,” the news release states.

The holiday season’s busy time peaks two weeks before Christmas, which is the time when much of last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic will begin increasing starting Dec. 7, and Dec. 14-21 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

Consumers can ship from home by visiting usps.com or using the Click-N-Ship feature for help with holiday gift shipping, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup.

The 2020 holiday shipping deadlines are as follows:

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

Alaska

  • Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express

Hawaii

  • Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express

The Postal Service also has the following tips for shipping during the holiday season:

  • Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at Post Office locations or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
  • Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
  • Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
  • 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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