FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – With many celebrating the holidays socially distanced this year due to the ongoing pandemic, more gifts and greetings will be sent through the mail. The Postal Service is encouraging those who are shipping items to send them early.
The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning December 7, with the week of December 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.
Packages sent through the Retail Ground service with the United States Postal Service need to be at the post office by December 15. The deadline for first-class mail and packages is the 18 and the 19 for Priority mail. For procrastinators, you might be able to get packages to their destinations if you send them Priority Mail Express on December 23, but it’s not guaranteed. Different deadlines apply for items going to Alaska or Hawaii.
Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. They can use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup. Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
The Postal Service begins planning for peak holiday season every January. To help handle the expected volume increase, the Postal Service has the ability to flex our network to meet the significant volume increases expected this year. This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes. They have 644,000 employees dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays.
Seasonal workers are hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes. Locally, Fort Wayne’s Northwood location will be open the next two Sundays, from 12-4 p.m. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
USPS is asking customers to keep mailboxes clear and not to block anything that could prevent the carrier from accessing the mailbox. That includes snow. Porch lights should stay on when it gets dark which is earlier this time of the year.