3 Billion Pieces of Mail Anticipated for Christmas Week Delivery

November 13, 2018, 9:26 AM HST · Updated November 13, 9:26 AM
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The US Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages during the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas.

The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.

Holiday stamps 2018. PC: USPS

2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines*:

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Dec. 4 – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground
Dec. 18 – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
Dec. 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Dec. 20 – Hawaiʻi to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
Dec. 20 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Dec. 22 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22 – Hawaiʻi to mainland Priority Mail Express
Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages, and can instead prepare their shipments at home via usps.com. The Postal Service anticipates Dec. 17 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 8 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. It’s predicted that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the website between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

It’s estimated nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 17 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free next-day Package Pickup.

What’s New this Year

Informed Delivery is the Postal Service’s free daily digital preview of what’s coming to your mailbox. This holiday season, not only can postal customers manage packages and sneak a peek at cards headed their way, they can also see some exterior images of magazines and catalogs — all from the USPS mobile app, dashboard, tablet or computer. Informed Delivery is one more way the Postal Service is helping customers “anticipate, communicate and celebrate this holiday season.”

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