Postal deadlines released for Christmas

By ED HOWELL
Posted 10/11/18

While holiday mailing deadlines may seem a long time off, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Wednesday issued its deadlines to prove that ground delivery for Christmas gifts and cards to military …

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Postal deadlines released for Christmas

Posted

While holiday mailing deadlines may seem a long time off, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Wednesday issued its deadlines to prove that ground delivery for Christmas gifts and cards to military addresses, is only a month away. 

For that matter, we're only 10 weeks away from the last Christmas deadlines, which should prompt a number of people to start getting the card and gift shopping started. 

In a release, USPS noted that due to online shopping, the peak of the season may actually start hitting in early December. 

"Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s 'busiest day' notion is now a thing of the past," the release said. "Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase 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. During this week alone, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards."

For expected mailing and shipping delivery by Dec. 25, USPS recommends a number of deadlines for Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses. The earliest is Nov. 6 for all retail ground delivery in all zip codes for APO/FPO/DPO addresses. For Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to those addresses, the deadline is Dec. 11 (except for Dec. 4 for the zip code 093 only). The Priority Mail Express deadline to those addresses is Dec. 18, except for 093. 

The Postal Service offers a reduced price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide — a $1.50 discount from the regular price.

The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families, such as boxes, tape, labels and customs forms. To order the kit, one may call 800-610-8734.

For other addresses, the deadline for retail ground is Dec. 14, while Dec. 20 is the deadline for three major classifications: First-Class Mail (including greeting cards), First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces) and Priority Mail. The deadline for Priority Mail Express is Dec. 22. 

Alaska and Hawaii have their own deadlines, with Dec. 20 for sending from there to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail, and Dec. 22 for sending Priority Mail Express from those two states to the mainland. 

USPS notes that the deadlines are not a necessarily a guarantee for delivery, with the delivery dates being estimates. Some conditions may also affect delivery. 

The Postal Service indicated Dec. 17 will be its busiest day online, with more than 8 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping their gifts. USPS predicts that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the USPS 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 on Dec. 17.

More details, including how to format military addresses and available holiday stamps, can be found at www.usps.com/holidaynews.