CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With more holiday gifts being sent through the mail this year, the United States Post Office is urging people to send their packages early to avoid the rush.
The Post Office says it’s expecting significant volume increases, which they say are too difficult to accurately predict.
To help with those increasing amounts, they say they’ll be expanding to Sunday deliveries to locations with high package volumes.
They say mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
USPS says the busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts.
They say customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.
The Post Office has set the following holiday shipping deadlines:
- Dec. 15 - Retail Ground service
- Dec. 18 - First-Class Mail service and packages
- Dec. 19 - Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 - Priority Mail Express service
Deadlines are different for packages shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. It’s also noted that some deadlines are not a guarantee, especially those closer to Christmas Day.
The Post Office also shared the following tips for a successful holiday mailing and shipping season:
- Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes (available at Post Office locations or online)
- Use Click-N-Ship to create shipping labels and pay for postage online
- Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail
- Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces or are more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage should be taken to a Post Office
The United States Post Office says it has 644,000 employees prepared and ready to make sure gifts and greetings are delivered on time.
Additional information about holiday shipping can be found by clicking here.