Not too early to think about Christmas mailing
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Beginning this past Monday, the U.S. Postal Service is delivering packages seven days a week in major cities and high volume areas through Christmas Day, in response to expected double-digit package volume growth.
However, Sunday delivery will not be in effect in Chase County.
Imperial Postmaster Barb Prottsman said the seven-day delivery is only for bigger cities.
The demand for package service has grown as online retailers ship more products to customers. The Postal Service is adding package delivery on Sundays during the holidays to prepare for the heavy shipping season.
“Every household in America relies on us to get their packages in time for the holidays, and we take great pride in taking on that responsibility,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver for our customers.”
The Postal Service is expecting double-digit growth in package business, likely in the range of 450 to 470 million packages.
That equates to roughly 12 percent growth over the same period last year.
The Postal Service has lowered some of its prices for businesses and frequent shippers. The new Priority Mail pricing offers affordable shipping options along with improved tracking and reliability for business customers.
For expected delivery of holiday mail and packages by Christmas, the Postal Service recommends keeping the following mailing and shipping deadlines in mind:
Dec. 2—First-Class Mail International/Priority Mail International
Dec. 10—Priority Mail Express International
Dec. 15—Standard Post
Dec. 17—Global Express Guaranteed
Dec. 20—First-Class Mail/Priority Mail (domestic)
Dec. 23—Priority Mail Express (domestic)
Prottsman said the busiest mailing day of the year will be Dec. 15. The Postal Service’s busiest day for people picking up Christmas mail is Dec. 18.
Prottsman said the post office will be adding additional lockers in which packages are stored. “Unfortunately, this may result in the removal of the trash cans,” she stated.
She encourages people to be sure to use the correct mailing address when sending mail.
Prottsman also reminds people that the mail truck collects outgoing mail at 2:30 p.m.
The best time to mail a large stack of packages is around 3 p.m., she noted, if the packages don’t need to go out that day. That way a line doesn’t form behind the customer.
The Postal Service’s website usps.com helps make mailing and shipping easier. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and even request free next-day package pickup.
New stamps this Christmas season include the Christmas Magi, pictures from the Rudolph television show and Winter Fun, featuring birds and snowmen. There are also some Santa and sleigh stamps left from last year.
Prottsman said she will be baking cookies for an open house to be held during the week after Thanksgiving at the Imperial Post Office. Door prizes will also be given.
Prottsman said that’s the post office’s gift to the community.