USPS Holiday ‘Bear’ Facts
As Thanksgiving festivities fade into the distance, the whirlwind weeks leading up to the New Year have begun. Where DID the time go?
Right about now you may be feeling mild panic about “how will I get my gifts and holiday greetings mailed on time!?” Don’t worry. The Postal Service™ and our dedicated and reliable employees are ready to deliver the holidays for you and your loved ones.
The holidays are also known as peak season for the Postal Service. This year we expect to deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail. Yes, that’s billion with a B. In the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the Postal Service also anticipates delivering more than 900 million packages. Add both mail and package volumes together and you get a whopping total of NEARLY 16 billion deliveries this holiday season!
To further help get your packages and holiday greetings to their final destination, the Postal Service expanded its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes beginning November 25. As you may know, we already deliver packages on Sundays in most major cities. For 2018, we anticipate delivering more than 8 million packages each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.
Remaining 2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
There aren’t many days left to ship out those special gifts. The Postal Service recommends 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 – 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 shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two (2) business days.
For the last few years, there has been an increase in early and online shopping. More and more, consumers aren’t waiting until the last minute. With this change, we no longer have the “busiest day” you may remember hearing about in the years’ past. Instead, our busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. The busiest weeks start the week of December 10. Customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 17 – 23 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week. During this week, nearly 3 million pieces of mail, including packages, will be processed and delivered. The Postal Service also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.
If you prefer doing it all online we are there for you too! The Postal Service anticipates that Dec. 17 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with nearly 400,000 customers visiting usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. It’s expected that nearly 5 million consumers will opt to take advantage of convenient online shipping between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Our Click-N-Ship® feature 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*. And usps.com is always open.
Informed Delivery® is the Postal Service’s free daily digital preview of what’s coming to your mailbox. It will help you track incoming mail and packages for the holidays, and every day. 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 also offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows customers how to address packages, ship packages, pack a box so items arrive safely, and much more. We definitely don’t want Grandma’s cookies or rugelach to get damaged in shipping!
Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.
*For use with Priority Mail®, Priority Mail International®, Priority Mail Express® and Priority Mail Express International® shipping. Boxes are delivered within the U.S. with your regular mail usually within seven (7) to 10 business days. Exclusions apply. For details and to order, visit https://store.usps.com/store.
** For details on availability, visit usps.com/pickup