The holidays are upon us and the U.S. Postal Service is gearing up for their busy season. Due to the popularity of online shopping, they foresee a “record breaking” increase in business this year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, over 18 billion pieces of mail will be delivered. It’s an exciting and busy time!
Typically, the Postal Service processes 538 million pieces of mail each day. However, this December 17th they expect to see more than 655 million holiday cards & packages. December 19th is the busiest day for letters and December 20th for packages. 30 million pounds of mail will be delivered to our troops overseas.
Preparing for the holiday season can be stressful to some. To avoid any additional strain, and to ensure your mailing experience is a pleasant one, take a look at some helpful tips below:
BE AWARE of the U.S.P.S. “Mail-By-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
Speed up shipping time by using the ZIP+4
When you ship a letter or package, the USPS must determine exactly where it is going. They must determine the major city to send it through, then the Post Office which will deliver it. From there, the Post Office determines which carrier will carry it, and what order they will deliver it in. How do they do this efficiently? By using the ZIP+4.
Why does including the ZIP+4 in the address speed up delivery? Because they do not have to scan your package and determine this for you. That’s right; By simply adding the extra 4 digits, it can speed up delivery by 1 day (depending on where it is going to). By doing the work for the USPS of appending this data, you get to skip the line and go directly to your delivery location.
How can you find the ZIP+4 code? Zip-Codes.com offers a free tool that will allow you to do just that with our Find ZIP+4 of Address tool.
Don’t forget to write neatly on all packages and to use CAPS.
TIP: Don’t forget to bookmark our Find ZIP+4 of Address Tool for future reference.
PACK YOUR Contents Properly
You want to make sure your packages arrive in one piece. Avoid having your items damaged by not leaving too much wiggle room. Package it tightly using a strong, new box and leave some extra space for cushioning. Go green by packing with environmentally safe, plain air-popped popcorn. You can also cushion your package with shredded/rolled newspaper, foam peanuts or bubble wrap.
There are tapes specifically used for shipping. Pressure sensitive and nylon reinforced tape work the best. Here are a few things you should NOT use to secure a package:
- Wrapping Paper
- Masking Tape
- Duct Tape
- Cellophane Tape
Have a wonderful mailing experience!