Americans send more mail around the holidays than at any other time of the year. Whether you’re sending a Christmas card, mailing a holiday gift, or shipping a care package to a loved one serving in the military, it’s important that your package arrives on time. That’s why the U.S. Postal Service works extra hard to ensure timely delivery of your holiday mail. To help you avoid delays during this very special and busy time, here are USPS’s recommended shipping deadlines for the 2015 holiday season:Domestic Mail Deadlines – December 2015If you’re sending holiday mail within the United States or to U.S. territories, aim to ship your packages by the dates below.Get additional details on the U.S. Postal Service’s mailing and shipping services.International Mail Deadlines – December 2015Consult the chart below to find recommended mail-by dates for international regions. Remember, when mailing and shipping to international addresses, you must also follow necessary customs guidelines.International Mail Deadlines chart – Dec. 2015Military Mail Deadlines – December 2015Follow the guidelines below to know when to mail Christmas packages to loved ones serving in the armed services.How to Get USPS Discounts on Military MailTo support our men and women in the armed services, USPS offers a $2 per box postage discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box at $15.90 for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO addresses around the globe.Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices and online. And with Click-N-Ship, you can print postage, shipping labels and customs forms anytime from your computer.How to Use Military Care Kits to Send Gifts OverseasThe Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains:■Two Priority Mail APO/FPO/DPO flat rate boxes■Two Priority Mail Medium flat rate boxes■Priority Mail tape■Priority Mail address labels■Appropriate customs formsTo order the kit, call 800-610-8734. You can also order flat-rate boxes featuring the “America Supports You” logo at the USPS online store.How to Address Military Mail and PackagesWondering how to address military mail to your friend or loved one serving in the armed forces? Follow these steps for addressing military mail to make sure your parcel arrives on time.1. Print the service member’s full name in the address field.2. Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP code (if one is assigned). For example: Army/Air Post Office (APO)PFC JOHN DOEPSC 3 BOX 4120APO AE 09021 Fleet Post Office (FPO)SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITHUNIT 100100 BOX 4120FPO AP 96691 Diplomatic Post Office (DPO)JOHN ADAMSUNIT 8400 BOX 0000DPO AE 09498-0048 3. Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address field4. Remember to write a return address in appropriate field.5. Include the service member’s name and address and the sender’s name and address on an index card inside the package, in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit.These Christmas shipping deadlines and tips can help de-stress your holiday gift giving – so you can concentrate on what’s truly important. Happy Holidays from the U.S. Postal Service!
Postal Service Gears Up for Holiday Shipping SeasonThe U.S. Postal Service® is ready to deliver a lot of cheer this holiday season in the form of more than 16 billion cards, letters and packages.“We have planned for this peak volume season all year. Customers can count on the Postal Service® and our more than 600,000 dedicated employees to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “We have invested in our infrastructure. We’ve added package sortation equipment, new delivery vehicles and scanning equipment to expand capacity, improve operating efficiency, keep our processing plants fluid and to provide real-time visibility.”Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring up to 40,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. Following the success of the past two holiday seasons, the Postal Service will again deliver packages seven days a week in select major cities and high-volume areas beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December.Holiday Mail: Busiest Mailing and Delivery DaysThe Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates that more than 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.Whether sending sweets to a child in Big Rock Candy Mountain, VT, fresh fruit to a business acquaintance in Orange, CA, or a poetry book to a pen pal in Limerick, Me, the Postal Service offers these added tips:Priority Mail™ supplies: Order free Priority Mail shipping supplies, including seasonally decorated Flat Rate boxes, and have them delivered free of charge when ordered at The Postal Store on usps.com.Pack well: Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents, including a full range of sizes of Priority Mail and Priority Express boxes that are free at the local post office. Leave space for cushioning inside. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.Track it: Sign up for text and email alerts through my.usps.com to track the delivery status of your packages.Delivery Instructions: No one home on expected delivery days? Use your free my.usps.com account to provide delivery instructions for packages with tracking numbers.
Skip the Trip and Ship OnlineIt’s a hectic time but let the visions of sugar plums — possibly from Plum Island MA — dance in your head while looking for gifts and ways to ship them.With about 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages, anticipated for the holiday season, Dec. 19 is expected to be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever.Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office™ altogether and take advantage of convenient online holiday shipping this season. and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.Customers can also shop online at the Postal Store® for festive stamps to complement their holiday cards and letters and philatelic gift ideas. Many holiday cards and stamps are also available at local USPS® retail offices.
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