Business & Consumer

USPS releases holiday shipping deadlines for 2018

(AP) - Are you a Black Friday shopper or Cyber Monday shopper? Maybe you shop throughout the holiday season. No matter when you buy your holiday gifts, you can relax knowing the U.S. Postal Service will get your packages to their destination this holiday season.

Holiday mailing deadlines are fast approaching, and the Postal Service is ready to deliver. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail - for a total of nearly 16 billion cheerful deliveries this holiday season. 

Customers planning to mail cards and packages are encouraged to visit a local Post Office no later than the below dates for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  •  Dec. 4    - 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
  •  Dec. 14 - USPS Retail Ground
  •  Dec. 18  - APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
  •  Dec. 20 - First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  •  Dec. 20 - First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  •  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.

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.

To handle the surge in volume, the Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery operations in select high package volume locations during the holiday season. More than 5 million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.

Busiest Week

The notion of a "busiest day" is a thing of the past, thanks to the increase in early and online gift shopping. Customer mailing and shipping traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 10, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.

Wrap Up the Holidays from Home

Consumers don't even have to leave home to ship their packages, they can simply visit usps.com. The Postal Service anticipates Dec. 17 will be the Postal Service's busiest day online with more than 8 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. It's predicted that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the website between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. And usps.com is always open.

It's estimated nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 17 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.

More USPS holiday news, including shipping deadlines and letters to Santa, can be found at usps.com/holidaynews.


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