Post offices prepare for holiday shipping rush

MGN Online

With the holidays just around the corner, the United States Postal Service has released a list of holiday shipping deadlines to make sure you ship those holiday gifts in time.

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

>>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. 14 — USPS Retail Ground service;

>>Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except zip code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service;

>>Dec. 20 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards);

>>Dec. 20 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces);

>>Dec. 21 — Priority Mail service;

>>Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service.

Shipping to Alaska:

>>Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service;

>>Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service;

>>Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express service.

Shipping to Hawaii:

>>Dec. 19 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services;

>>Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express service.

According to the Postal Service, customer traffic is expected to increase the week of Dec. 9, with the week of Dec. 16-22 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.

The Postal Service reports there have been some changes made to how you can ship your packages this year. It states for safety reasons you can no longer drop off stamped packages — which means using individual stamps as postage — that are more than one-half inch thick and/or weighing more than 10 ounces into blue collection boxes, building mail chutes, or Post Office mail slots. Instead you must go to a retail counter or use the self-service kiosk (SSK) to purchase a postage label. If you opt to use the SSK to buy a postage label, you can drop off your package in the package slot, not the mail slot, at a Post Office.

If a restricted package is found in a collection box, mail chute or lobby mail slot it will be returned to sender. Mail that is returned to sender will have a Customer Return Label attached explaining the restrictions and reason for return.