Don’t let procrastination end in disappointment this holiday season. Sending packages via the U.S. Postal Service should be done earlier rather than later.
“Everyone wants their packages to arrive on time,” said McMinnville Postmaster Brent Nunley. “We want them to arrive on time as well. To make sure they do, we want to make people aware of the recommended deadlines.”
In order to ensure a merry Christmas, customers wishing to use parcel post should do so by Dec. 15.
Dec. 17 is the recommended cutoff date to mail items to those serving in the military abroad, while the recommended deadline for first class mail is Dec. 20. Priority mail is Dec. 21, and most express mail is Dec. 22.
Nunley says the post office hectic this time of year.
“The amount of packages has more than doubled what our clerks and carriers normally would handle,” he said. “On an average day, we might see 1,100 to 1,200 packages come in for us to deliver. This week alone we have seen this number rise to over 3,000 a day to process and get delivered in a timely manner.”
Nunley has added staff at the front windows to help reduce wait times, but the department is short staffed.
“We are a little shorthanded right now due to a couple of retirements, but we are here to serve the people of Warren County as best as we know how,” said Nunley. “We’ve added staffing up front on the window as much as possible to help keep the lines down.”
Customers hunting for a short wait in line can help by having the package ready to go prior to visiting the post office and avoiding peak days and times.
“The busiest times of the day now are at opening time, during lunchtime and the last half hour of the day,” Nunley said. “I expect Saturday, Dec. 15 and Monday, Dec. 17 to be the biggest shipping days. Most people are shipping priority these days because it is our best valued service.”
For individuals wanting to ensure their package doesn’t suffer a malfunction that would prevent delivery, Nunley recommends having the mailing address on the inside of the package and on the outside just in case the exterior of the package and label were to be torn off.
“It rarely happens, but if the label is in with the contents as well it will be just another fail-safe measure put into place to make sure your package gets to its destination,” said Nunley.
Gift wrapping the package in pretty Christmas paper is not recommended due to its thin nature, which could be easily torn during the mailing process, says Nunley.
Individuals wanting to avoid the post office altogether this season can use the post office’s Click-N-Ship service for paying, printing and shipping from home. Go to usps.com/get-to-know-click-in-ship.htm. To use Click-N-Ship, at least one of the packages being shipped has to be a priority parcel.