When the holiday mail gets to be too much

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The U.S. Postal Service is able to accommodate a high volume of packages, but an exceptionally high volume can lead to complications.

“We encourage everyone to mail as early as possible,” Selma Postmaster James A. Howard said. He added that people waiting until the last minute to mail packages causes postal operations to bottleneck.

Email newsletter signup

The U.S. Postal Service recommends that individuals have their packages in the mail by specific dates to ensure they reach their destination by Dec. 25.

For parcel post mail, the day is Dec. 15; for First Class mail, Priority mail, and DBMC drop ship mail or businesses with bulk mailings that must be presorted), Dec. 20; for DDU drop ship or bulk mailings that do not need to be presorted, Dec. 21; and for Express mail, Dec. 22.

Theresa Myracle, customer service supervisor at the Selma post office, said if at possible, people should visit the United Postal Service Web site at http://www.usps.com&, for shipping needs. Myracle said individuals can print labels, schedule home pickup, and purchase stamps, even customizing them with personal photos.

Myracle also said mail weighing more than 13 ounces should be brought into the post office to make sure it will be sent. “After 9/11, it’s a security issue,” Myracle said.

If someone is shipping valuable or fragile items, they need be sent as registered mail, which people often confuse with certified mail, Howard said. Certified mail is scanned at initial shipment and delivery. Registered mail is scanned and signed at every checkpoint until it reaches the final destination. “It’s very secure,” Myracle said.

It is also important to purchase insurance, Howard and Myracle said.

The Postal Service estimates to process 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.