Maui Business

Hawaiʻi Holiday Suggested Mailing Dates, Tips and Hours

November 29, 2017, 1:01 PM HST
* Updated November 29, 1:02 PM
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United States Post Office, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Lots of people in Hawaiʻi are interested in the suggested dates to mail their items so that they arrive in time for the holidays. The Postal Service released its annual suggested holiday mailing dates specific to Hawaiʻi, including news on extended holiday services, information about convenient self-service options, and holiday mailing tips.

Suggested Mailing Dates

Below are the dates that the Postal Service suggests Hawaiʻi residents mail letters, cards and packages to give them the best chances of reaching their destinations by Christmas. Note that the dates apply to the mail received by each Post Office’s daily cutoff time.

The suggested mailing dates are Dec. 6 for first-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations, and Dec. 15 for First-Class and Priority mail headed to the mainland. Procrastinators have until Dec. 20 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via expedited Priority Express shipping service.

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Dates apply to mail received by each Post Office’s cutoff time.

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Postal customers are asked to keep in mind that the above suggested mailing dates are not deadlines, implying that packages or letters will not arrive at their destinations if mailed after the listed dates. In fact, if normal holiday conditions prevail, the Postal Service says chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas. Ultimately, uncontrollable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.

No Extended Retail Hours This Year

The Post Office says it will not extend hours of operation at any Hawaiʻi Post Offices this holiday season. Instead, USPS is encouraging customers to take advantage of the 24-hour self-service kiosks and the online payment and pickup options at USPS.com.

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Self Service Ship & Mail Centers

These convenient postal kiosks allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage for packages, and conduct other common transactions without the need to stand in line to see a mail clerk. Perhaps most important, customers can access the Self Service Ship & Mail Centers 24/7, at times that are convenient to them.

USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are located in Hawaiʻi outside or in the service lobbies of the 15 Post Offices below, in addition to one located inside the Safeway on Kapahulu Avenue on Oʻahu:

ʻĀina Haina; Airport – 2 kiosks; Downtown; Hawaiʻi Kai; Hilo Main Office; Kailua; Kailua-Kona; Kaneʻohe; Kīhei; Lahaina; Makiki; Mililani; Waiʻalae-Kahala; Waikiki; and Wailuku.

Mailing Tips

Here are some time- and money-saving tips to help make the holidays a little brighter:

  • Save $$$ with FLAT RATE BOXES: Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are the best deal around. Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for $13.60. An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50% more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $18.85, and features the tagline “Seasons Greetings from Hawaiʻi” printed on its side. And, 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 $17.35.
  • Save time; USE USPS.com: Pay for postage and print out mailing labels at USPS.com. After printing out the mailing labels for packages at USPS.com, notify usps.com/pickup that they’re ready to be picked up. The customers 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. Customers can also drop off prepaid packages at a Post Office without waiting in line.
  • 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 Hawaiʻi” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for free at local Post Offices.
  • 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.

By the Numbers 15 Billion Pieces of Mail Expected

The Postal Service expects to process and deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail and 850 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That projected holiday package volume is an increase of 10% over last year.

  • The busiest mailing & shipping week nationwide is expected to be Dec. 18-24.
  • During that busiest week, nearly 3 billion pieces of mail—including greeting cards and packages—will be delivered.
  • Nearly 3 million customers are expected to use USPS’s Click-N-Ship online application to pay for postage and print out their shipping labels from the convenience of their homes or offices.

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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