It’s expected more gifts and greetings will be sent through the mail this year than in previous holiday seasons as families and friends hold virtual celebrations instead of opening gifts in person.
The U.S. Postal Service always encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early. This year is no different.
“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,” said McMinnville postmaster Brent Nunley “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.”
The Postal Service has 644,000 employees dedicated to ensuring packages and letters are delivered in time for the holidays.
Seasonal workers are hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks. Sunday delivery was expanded Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Mail by Dec. 18
For customers using first-class mail for their cards and packages up to 15.99 ounces, Friday, Dec. 18 is the time to have it in the mail.
Dec. 19 is the deadline for Priority Mail service and Dec. 23 is the deadline for Priority Mail Express.
Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. 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.
Skip the Trip and Ship Online
Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. In these socially distant times, visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup. And usps.com is always open.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
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. 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