BUFFALO — The holiday season has arrived, and the US Postal Service is providing some facts, tips and deadlines to make the shipping season merry and bright.
USPS will handle approximately 16 billion letters, cards and packages during this holiday season. Of those, approximately 900 million will be packages. Western NY Post Offices will deliver about 10 million packages during the holidays.
In many areas, delivery of packages will occur seven days per week, in the early mornings and evenings to facilitate extra volume.
Extended hours will be offered at metropolitan locations in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.
Go to usps.com to find the full list of Self-Service Kiosks, retailers, contract postal units, and alternate sites for stamp and package services.
The Postal Service is suggesting these mail-by dates and tips to help customers mail and ship conveniently for the holidays:
Key Shipping Dates for Dec. 25 Arrival:
Dec. 15 — Priority Mail Express International
Dec. 14 — Retail Ground
Dec. 20 — First-Class Mail
Dec. 20 — Priority Mail
Dec. 22 — Priority Mail Express
Military Mailing Deadlines
APO/FPO First-Class Mail Letters and Cards — Dec. 11
APO/FPO Priority Mail — Dec. 11
APO/FPO Priority Mail Express Military Service — Dec. 1
Shipping Deadlines - For a full list of domestic, military and international deadlines please go to www.about.usps.com/holidaynews/
How to pack a gift like a pro:
1. Pick a strong and sturdy box, and tape it closed tightly.
2. Cushion contents to protect them during transportation, and wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material.
3. Place wrapped gift boxes inside a plain larger box.
4. Remove all batteries from electronics.
5. Remember to place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.
Successful shipping tips:
1. Print addresses clearly and in CAPS.
2. Include complete ‘to’ and ‘from’ info.
3. Check usps.com for the correct ZIP Code — never guess.
4. Put mailing label on the inside of the package, with the contents.
5. Be sure to label a box as ‘FRAGILE’ if it needs to be handled with extra care.
6. Visit usps.com to pay and print postage and schedule a pickup, or drop off your gift for delivery at the Post Offic.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.