Postal Service forecasts record holiday shipping surge
SANTA CLARITA — The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver 365 million packages this holiday season — a 20 percent increase over 2011.
The Postal Service projects the record-breaking increase in its competitive package business due to consumers’ growing fondness for shopping online. In total, nearly 18 billion cards, letters and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
“This is one of the most exciting and busiest times of the year for the Postal Service, whether you’re sending a holiday card to Kentucky or military care package to Afghanistan, our employees do what it takes to process and deliver every single one,” said Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and chief executive officer.
On Thursday, Donahoe and Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, announced the mailing and shipping forecasts for the 2012 holiday season during the holiday rush kick-off event in Washington D.C.
The busiest mailing day for holiday cards and packages is Monday, Dec. 17, when more than 655 million pieces of mail are expected to be processed — compared to 538 on an average day. The busiest delivery day for letters will be Wednesday, Dec. 19 and the busiest day for packages will be Thursday, Dec. 20.
To help customers beat the rush and know the all-important mailing and shipping deadlines, Donahoe stressed that mailing early is key and advised customers to take note of the following dates:
- Nov. 14 APO/FPO Parcel Post Military Deadline
- Dec. 3 Priority Mail International
- Dec. 10 Priority Mail Military
- Dec. 11 Express Mail International
- Dec. 14 Parcel Post
- Dec. 17 Global Express Guaranteed
- Dec. 20 First-Class Mail
- Dec. 21 Priority Mail
- Dec. 22 Express Mail
Holiday Mailing Tips
Given the busy season ahead, here are a few simple tips sure to help customers avoid those holiday hassles and keep the season merry.
Confirm addresses. Print addresses clearly and in all CAPS and be sure to include all address elements — apartment numbers, suite numbers and directional information for streets. For example: 123 S. Main St. or 12456 Elm St. N. Include both “to” and “from” information on packages — and only on one side. Never guess a ZIP Code. Visit usps.com to find all ZIP codes.
Choose the Right Box
Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside. Do not reuse mailing boxes — they weaken in the shipping process. Customers can purchase ReadyPost boxes at a local Post Office or at the Postal Store on usps.com. Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes, envelopes and tubes are free.
Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn also is good for cushioning — it’s inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack contents tightly to avoid shifting during transit. Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, duct tape or cellophane tape.