Do you mail presents to loved ones? Well, here is some information you need to know this December to make sure your cards and presents arrive in time.
Expect High Volume Mailing this year
It is expected that MORE holiday gifts and cards will be sent through the mail this year, because of the pandemic. People won’t be getting together to open presents as they might have done in previous years. So, the Postal Service is expecting significant volume increases.
Good news, though! Sunday delivery has been expanded to locations with high package volumes. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
Staying Safe in the Pandemic
Think about your personal risks when planning your shipping. You can avoid in-person contact by using USPS online. If you prefer, you can also take many packages to self-serve shipping areas in many post offices, even when the post office is closed (many lobbies are open and the machines are accessible) — another way to avoid crowds of people. If you must go to the post office, however, try to do it early, before December 7 or as soon as you can manage it. Wear a mask and maintain 6 feet and be kind to the postal workers — they really are working hard and they deserve our support.
Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
Mail volume peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning December 7, with the week of December 14 – 21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.
Shipping Online Makes More Sense This Year Than Ever
You can skip the post office line by shipping your packages online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship. You can also order free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and request free next-day Package Pickup. And you don’t have to put on a mask to do it!
2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Remember, if you are sending your mail or packages to anyone in the military, you need to act early.
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 business days.
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected (but not guaranteed) delivery by Christmas Day, Dec. 25:
- Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
- Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
- Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
- Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service
- Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. First-Class Mail
- Dec. 19 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail
- Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. Priority Mail Express
- Dec. 15 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland Priority Mail Express
More tips for a successful holiday mailing and shipping season:
- Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at Post Office locations or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
- Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
- Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
- Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces or are more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a local Post Office.
Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found on the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.