When to Mail Your Holiday Cards: USPS 2013 Mail-By Dates

09109_467_11_10_2009When do you mail holiday cards and packages?  Do you like to do it early, or do you wait until the last minute?

Mail-By Dates

To ensure that holiday mail and packages are delivered on time, the U.S. Postal Service recommends keeping the following mailing and shipping deadlines in mind:

Nov. 12 APO/FPO Military Standard Post
Dec. 2   Priority Mail International
Dec. 10 APO/FPO Military Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 10  Priority Mail Express International
Dec. 14  Standard Post
Dec. 16 Global Express Guaranteed
Dec. 17 Priority Mail Express Military Service
Dec. 20  First-Class Mail
Dec. 21 Priority Mail
Dec. 23 Priority Mail Express

The dates listed above are the earliest deadlines for international and military mail. For a complete list of shipping deadlines, visit usps.com/shippingdates.

Projected 2013 Holiday Season Mail Volume

Did you know that the U.S. Postal Service delivers holiday greetings and gifts to more than 152 million residences, businesses, and P.O. boxes nationwide? The self-supporting U.S. Government enterprise expects to process 545 million pieces of mail every day throughout this holiday season; totaling nearly 15 billion pieces of mail to be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

The busiest mailing day this season is projected to be Monday, Dec. 16, when more than 600 million pieces of mail are expected to be processed. The same day, 6 million customers are expected to visit Post Offices nationwide.  There are 31,000 retail locations!

The busiest delivery day for mail is projected to be Wednesday, Dec. 18 and the busiest day for packages will be Thursday, Dec. 19.  USPS expects to deliver 12% more packages this year than last year.

Your Online Post Office

Many post offices will be open until noon on Christmas Eve.  Don’t like waiting in line?  You can go online! Nearly 75 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of online shipping. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and even request free next-day package pickup.  You can even buy stamps and gifts.  For more information, please visit usps.com.

New Offerings in Priority Mail

This is the first holiday season that consumers and businesses can take advantage of the recently revamped Priority Mail, which now comes with free insurance, day-specific delivery and free tracking.

Gifts for Letter Carriers and Mail Clerks

Postal employees may accept gifts valued up to $20, including gift cards, but not cash, liquor, or wine. The gift card must be from a single company but may not be from a bank or shopping mall.


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