Maui News

2014 Hawaiʻi-Specific Holiday Mailing Dates Announced

December 1, 2014, 11:16 AM HST
* Updated December 2, 10:06 AM
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United States Post Office, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

United States Post Office, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The US Postal Service is suggesting that Hawaiʻi customers mail letters, cards and packages to international destinations via first class and priority mail by Dec. 8 and to the mainland by Dec. 19.

Each year, the USPS releases a list of suggested mailing dates specific to Hawaiʻi, in an effort to ensure that the items have the best chance of reaching their destination by Christmas.

Suggested Hawaiʻi mailing dates include the following:

  First-Class & Priority Express
From Hawaiʻi to . . . Priority Mail Mail
U.S. Mainland Dec 19 Dec 20
Hawaiʻi Dec 22 Dec 23
Guam & Saipan Dec 15 Dec 20
American Samoa Dec 12 Dec 19
Military APOs & FPOs  Dec 8 Dec 15
International  Dec 8 Dec 15

 

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Those that wait until the very last minute, have until Dec. 20 to send their packages to the mainland via the USPS expedited Priority Express shipping service.

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“Ultimately, uncontrollable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time,” the USPS announcement states.

According to the USPS, the above suggested mailing dates are not deadlines. “If normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas,” officials said.

Nationwide, officials say the busiest mailing day is anticipated to be Monday, Dec. 15; and the busiest delivery days are likely to be Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 17 and 18 for cards, letters and packages.

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There are three post offices on Maui — Kīhei, Lahaina, and Wailuku — that offer self service ship and mail centers that are available around-the-clock.  The postal kiosks allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for package postage, and conduct other common transactions without having to stand in line or conduct their transaction during normal business hours.

The USPS also released a list of money saving mailing tips that include the following:

  • Flat Rate Boxes: Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $12.65. An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50% more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $17.90.  To support military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for $15.90.
  • Online Discounts: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at USPS.com and save up to 14% off of over-the-counter rates. Discounted rates are available for Priority, Express and International packages. Examples: Discounted Medium Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $11.30 (savings of $1.35); Large Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $15.80 (savings of $2.10); military APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Boxes are $13.80 (savings of $2.10).
  • Free Package Pickup: Skip the trip to the Post Office during the holidays. After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at USPS.com, notify the post office online that they’re ready to be picked up. A carrier will be alerted and will pick up packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service.
  • Free Insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and free insurance.
  • Free Packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes, including special “Seasons Greetings From Hawaii” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for free at local Post Offices.
  • New Holiday Flat Rate Boxes Available This Year: Post Offices statewide have a limited quantity of free small and medium Flat Rate boxes with wintry holiday designs available for customer pick up and use.
  • Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major US metropolitan areas. Ask your local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for your holiday packages.
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