Postal holiday deadlines already coming up

Posted 11/5/19

Holiday mailing deadlines, believe it or not, are already starting to go into effect, as  military addresses for US. Postal Service (USPS) Retail Ground Service have deadlines on Wednesday. 

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Postal holiday deadlines already coming up

Posted

Holiday mailing deadlines, believe it or not, are already starting to go into effect, as  military addresses for US. Postal Service (USPS) Retail Ground Service have deadlines on Wednesday. 

As for other military deadlines, Space Available Mail will have Nov. 27 deadlines, followed by Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) on Dec. 4. Priority Mail and First Class Mail deliveries will mostly have Dec. 11 deadlines, with one exception for the military zip code 093 on Dec. 9. 

Postal officials are also thinking of how busy it will be in December - and not for any one day. 

"Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s 'busiest day' notion is now a thing of the past," the USPS said in a recent release. "Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 9, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 16 - 22 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week."

USPS also warns of a major change that started on Oct. 1, thanks to safety reasons.  One can no longer drop off stamped packages – which means using individual stamps as postage – that are more than one-half inch thick and/or weighing more than 10 ounces into blue collection boxes, building mail chutes, or Post Office mail slots. 

"Instead you must go to a retail counter or use the self-service kiosk (SSK) to purchase a postage label. If you opt to use the SSK, to buy a postage label, you can drop off your package in the package slot, not the mail slot, at a Post Office. If a restricted package is found in a collection box, mail chute or lobby mail slot it will be returned to sender," the USPS said in a release. "Mail that is returned to sender will have a Customer Return Label attached explaining the restrictions and reason for return."

Click-N-Ship customers will not be affected by the change. It is estimated 400,000 customers will use that online service in mid-December at usps.com to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.

Meanwhile, international deadlines for First Class International Service will be on Dec. 30 (with the exception of Africa and Central and South America, all on Nov. 30. Africa, South America and Central America will have Priority Mail Express deadlines of Dec. 7, with other areas set for Dec. 14. Global Express Guaranteed Service will have deadlines on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. 

In the continental U.S. First Class mail service will have a Dec. 20 deadline, while Priority Mail will be Dec. 21 and Priority Mail Express will be Dec. 23. USPS Retail Ground will have a Dec. 14 deadline. Alaska and Hawaii will have deadlines either on Dec. 18-19 for First Class or Priority Mail, while both states will have a Dec. 21 deadline for Priority Mail Express. 

"To send packages to friends and loved ones serving in the military and diplomatic posts abroad, the U.S. Postal Service offers a discounted price of $18.45 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box," USPS says on its website. "The price includes a $1.50 per box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.

"Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices and can also be ordered via usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can also be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship feature. All mailing products can be found at store.usps.com/store/home."

The Postal Service has also created a free “Military Care Kit” based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains boxes, tape, address labels, and custom forms.To order the kit, call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at usps.com. To order Flat-Rate Boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo, go to usps.com/freeboxes.