U.S. Postal Service customers are being urged to send gifts and greeting cards early in order to make sure they arrive in time for the upcoming holidays.
“This has been an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic and the Postal Service is expecting significant volume increases which are difficult to predict,” the USPS said in a written statement. “We thank our customers for their continued support, and we are committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered on time to celebrate the holidays.”
Planning for each holiday season at the USPS begins each January, officials said. More than 640,000 USPS postal employees are “dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays,” the statement said.
“Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes,” the statement added. “USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.”
The USPS also reminded customers they can order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free next-day package pickup via the Click-N-Ship feature on usps.com.
“The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts,” the USPS statement said. “Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.”
2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
In order to ensure packages arrive by Christmas, the USPS urged senders to meet the following deadlines for shipments to U.S. Air/Army Post Offices, Fleet Post Offices, Diplomatic Post Offices and domestic addresses, although on-time delivery is not guaranteed:
• 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 information is available online at usps.com/holidaynews.