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US Postal Service urges holiday mail and gift shipping be done early

United States Postal Service (Alexander Marks/WikiCommons)

The U.S. Post Office urges customers shipping holiday gifts and packages to start and finish early as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to increase mail and shipping volumes.

The busiest mailing and delivery days of the holiday season peak two weeks before Christmas, according to a USPS news release.

“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,” the release said.

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 (military 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

Shipping and mail customers can avoid the post office and standing in long holiday lines by doing business online,, to request free next-day package pickup service. Customers can also order free Priority Mail Boxes, shipping labels, and postage stamps online.

The post office said that its 644,000 employees are dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays.


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