Postal Service Forecasts Record Holiday Shipping Surge

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- ’Tis the season, and for the 237th year the U.S. Postal Service is ready for The Best Holiday Ever! with 365 million packages expected to be delivered this holiday season — a 20 percent increase over 2011.

The Postal Service projects the record-breaking increase in its competitive package business due to consumers’ growing fondness for shopping online. In total, nearly 18 billion cards, letters and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“This is one of the most exciting and busiest times of the year for the Postal Service, whether you’re sending a holiday card to Kentucky or military care package to Afghanistan, our employees do what it takes to process and deliver every single one,” said Rockford acting Postmaster Steve Webb.

The Postal Service recently announced mailing and shipping forecasts for the 2012 holiday season. The busiest mailing day for holiday cards/packages is Monday, December 17, when more than 655 million pieces of mail are expected to be processed — compared to 538 on an average day. The busiest delivery day for letters will be Wednesday, December 19 and the busiest day for packages will be Thursday, December 20.

“We’re gearing up for the holiday rush,” said Webb. “Will be ready to handle the record increase in package volume.”

Holiday Shipping Made Easy
Customers are encouraged to visit usps.com/cheer, a new dedicated holiday website, to learn how the Postal Service can make shipping during the holidays easy. “At usps.com/cheer, customers can print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and request a free package pickup — all with the touch of a finger,” added Webb. “And for most packages, consumers can enter label numbers at usps.com and check delivery status with the Track and Confirm tool.”

With more than one million visitors a day to usps.com, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, and nearly 400,000 customers expected to print shipping labels using Click-N-Ship on Monday, Dec. 19, the Postal Service is sure to be the best shipping deal in Anytown, USA, adds Webb.

Beat the Rush — Mail Early

To help customers beat the rush and know the all-important mailing and shipping deadlines, Webb stressed that mailing early is key and advised customers to take note of the following dates:

MAIL-BY-DATES

  • 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

    Simple Tips for Holiday Mailing and Shipping

    Given the busy season ahead, here are a few simple tips sure to help customers avoid those holiday hassles and keep the season merry.

  • 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. Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, duct tape or cellophane tape.

    The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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