Holiday postage deadlines nearing

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The United States Postal Service is encouraging the public to consider their deadlines when shipping out mail this season to ensure the billions of letters, packages and cards they receive during the season will arrive on time.

The Postal Service projects 14.7 billion cards will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, and 13.1 billion cards, letters and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, according to Debra Fetterly, the USPS spokesperson for the Alabama District.

She said the average 528 million pieces processed daily increases to 545 million pieces of mail daily during the holiday season.

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“Everyone is very busy this time of year, so the Postal Service suggests shipping deadlines as reminders to ensure that all cards, letters, and packages are received by the intended holiday,” Fetterly said. “It’s all about delivering customer satisfaction.”

The deadline for standard domestic mail to get to its destination by Christmas is Saturday, Dec. 14, but the Postal Service does have some other options that will allow a later deadline.

Priority Mail, the two to three-day service, has a deadline of Dec. 21, and first class mail has deadline of Friday, Dec. 20. People also have the option of using the Priority Mail Express Service, which is overnight to most locations, with a deadline of Monday, Dec. 23.

The deadline for Priority Mail Express International is Tuesday, Dec. 10.

“The Postal Service is projecting approximately a 12 percent increase in package volume this holiday season over last year,” Fetterly said. “We’re expecting about 420 million packages nationwide to be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.”

To ensure the Postal Service is fully prepared for the hectic season, the USPS began planning for the rush over the summer.

“Every July, USPS District Offices begin planning for the holiday season,” Fetterly said. ‘That would include review of mail processing and delivery operations, possible need for seasonal employees, review of transportation, etc.”

Fetterly said the Postal Service is fully capable of handling the heavy load this season.

“We’ve been delivering the holidays for 238 years — but this year, you can count on us to deliver like never before,” Fetterly said. “We have everything you need to ship conveniently and affordably this season.”