U.S. Postal Service Urges Early Mailing for the Holidays

Priority Mail International should be mailed by Monday, Dec. 3. Express Mail can be mailed as late as Dec. 22.

With 17.9 billion pieces of mail expected to be delivered this holiday season, including 3 billion cards and letters, the U.S. Postal Service is reminding local residents to ‘Mail Early’ for the holidays.’

“The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the Postal Service but we are prepared to deliver,” says Atlanta District Manager Salvatore Vacca.

During this holiday season, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, the Postal Service also expects:

  • 560 million pieces of mail on average to be processed every day.
  • 29.5 million pounds of mail to be delivered to overseas military installations, including Iraq and war zones in Afghanistan.
  • 2.5 billion holiday stamps will be printed.

Simple Tips for Holiday Mailing and Shipping:

  • Confirm addresses. Print addresses clearly and in all CAPS and be sure to include all address elements — apartment numbers, suite numbers and directional information for streets. For example: 123 S Main St. or 12456 Elm St. N. Include both “to” and “from” information on packages — and only on one side. Never guess a ZIP Code. Visit usps.com to find all ZIP codes.
  • Choose the Right Box. Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside. Do not reuse mailing boxes — they weaken in the shipping process. Customers can purchase ReadyPost boxes at a local Post Office or at the Postal Store on usps.com. Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes, envelopes and tubes are free.
  • Pack Delicately. Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn also is good for cushioning — it’s inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack contents tightly to avoid shifting during transit. Use pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape for shipping. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, duct tape or cellophane tape.

The Postal Service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure on time arrival:

Dec.  3 —  Priority Mail International

Dec. 10 — Priority Mail Military

Dec. 11 — Express Mail International

Dec. 14 — Parcel Post

Dec. 17 — Global Express Guaranteed

Dec. 20 --- First-Class Mail

Dec. 21 --- Priority Mail

Dec. 22 --- Express Mail


More than 37 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office this holiday season and take advantage of online shipping at usps.com. Customers can print shipping labels, pay for postage and request free package pickup while staying warm and comfortable in their homes or offices. The Postal Service will deliver free shipping supplies, including the popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, and pickup packages for free when customers ship online.


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