Postal Service Gears Up for Holiday Shipping Season
The U.S. Postal Service® is ready to deliver a lot of cheer this holiday season in the form of more than 16 billion cards, letters and packages.
“We have planned for this peak volume season all year. Customers can count on the Postal Service® and our more than 600,000 dedicated employees to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “We have invested in our infrastructure. We’ve added package sortation equipment, new delivery vehicles and scanning equipment to expand capacity, improve operating efficiency, keep our processing plants fluid and to provide real-time visibility.”
Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring up to 40,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. Following the success of the past two holiday seasons, the Postal Service will again deliver packages seven days a week in select major cities and high-volume areas beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December.
Holiday Mail: Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates that more than 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.
Whether sending sweets to a child in Big Rock Candy Mountain, VT, fresh fruit to a business acquaintance in Orange, CA, or a poetry book to a pen pal in Limerick, Me, the Postal Service offers these added tips:
Priority Mail™ supplies: Order free Priority Mail shipping supplies, including seasonally decorated Flat Rate boxes, and have them delivered free of charge when ordered at The Postal Store on usps.com.
Pack well: Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents, including a full range of sizes of Priority Mail and Priority Express boxes that are free at the local post office. Leave space for cushioning inside. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.
Track it: Sign up for text and email alerts through my.usps.com to track the delivery status of your packages.
Delivery Instructions: No one home on expected delivery days? Use your free my.usps.com account to provide delivery instructions for packages with tracking numbers.
Skip the Trip and Ship Online
It’s a hectic time but let the visions of sugar plums — possibly from Plum Island MA — dance in your head while looking for gifts and ways to ship them.
With about 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages, anticipated for the holiday season, Dec. 19 is expected to be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever.
Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office™ altogether and take advantage of convenient online holiday shipping this season. and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.
Customers can also shop online at the Postal Store® for festive stamps to complement their holiday cards and letters and philatelic gift ideas. Many holiday cards and stamps are also available at local USPS® retail offices.
2016 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping dates*
Dec. 9 – Military APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail® & First Class Mail®
Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 20 – First Class Mail®
Dec. 21 – Priority Mail®
Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express™
Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at usps.com/holidaynews.
*Actual delivery date may vary and is based on origin, destination, Post Office facility acceptance time, and other conditions.
Priority Mail Express Shipments mailed December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.