Christmas is coming; the mail sack’s getting fat.
Would you please put a package in the mailbox – stat?
With Christmas less than a week away, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued an all-points alert to holiday package senders on December 17th. Monday, December 20th, is expected to be the most hectic mailing day of the entire 2010 holiday season – or even the full calendar year.
American postal offices are gearing up for loads of letters, cartons of Christmas cards and blizzards of boxes. The United States Postal Service (USPS) officially forecasts the handling of more than 800 million pieces of mail on December 20th this year. By contrast, the postal service handles an average of 559 million pieces of mail daily throughout the year.
Can procrastinators still hope for holiday mailings to arrive by Christmas?
Christmas 2010 will take place on Saturday, December 25th. Holiday greetings and gifts may still arrive in time to make Santa’s sleigh, if senders are swift.
“There’s still time to mail greeting cards and ship presents,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. “If customers get their cards and packages to us by Tuesday, Dec. 21, we’ll get them delivered by Christmas.”
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recommends customers send holiday cards and letters by Monday, December 20th, to ensure Christmas arrival. Of course, Saturday, December 25th, is a postal holiday with no regular mail delivery.
Package senders are advised to mail them by Tuesday, December 21st, using Priority Mail. To simplify holiday mailings, the United States Postal Service (USPS) suggests the use of official Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, available free at postal offices. Customers can print shipping labels, purchase postage and even schedule free home or office package pickups online.
“Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and usps.com offer the best shipping solutions for the holidays,” said Donahoe. “If the gift fits, it ships, for one low rate to anywhere in the country. Go online, create the shipping label and we’ll pick up your packages for free. You can even pay for your postage online.”
By Wednesday, December 22nd the best option will be Express Mail. After that date, Christmas delivery will be a stretch, according to the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Some online vendors still offer free shipping.
Although Friday, December 17th was Free Shipping Day for many e-tailers, plenty of online marketers still present free shipping offers. Of course, customers may pay a premium for expedited shipments.