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Get your packages delivered on time; Postal Service deadlines and tips

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The holiday season is upon us. The United States Postal Service will handle approximately 15 billion letters, cards and packages during this holiday season. Of those, approximately 850 million will be packages – up 10% from last holiday. In many areas, delivery of packages will occur 7 days per week (adding Sunday) to facilitate extra volume. So if you want to get your packages mailed on time, here are some tips and deadlines to make the shipping season merry and bright:

Key Shipping Dates for Dec. 25th Arrival
Dec. 14 Priority Mail Express International™
Dec. 14 Retail Ground
Dec. 19 First-Class Mail®
Dec. 20 Priority Mail®
Dec. 22 Priority Mail Express™
Delivering Holiday Cheer to Service Members

Military Mailing Deadlines
APO/FPO First-Class Mail® Letters and Cards Dec. 11
APO/FPO Priority Mail® Dec. 11
APO/FPO Priority Mail Express™ Military Service Dec. 16

Shipping Deadlines - For a full list of domestic, military and international deadlines please go to http://about.usps.com/holidaynews/

If you are in need of stamps, there are a number of Forever holiday stamps for customers to choose from including: Christmas Carols and The Snowy Day (pictured at top); Diwali; Eid; Hanukkah; Holiday Windows; Kwanzaa; Madonna and Child; Nativity; and Songbirds. Holiday stamps can be delivered to any address when ordered through usps.com, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 or by completing a Stamps-By-Mail form (available from mail carriers).

For your convenience, Self-Service Kiosks can be found at the following locations. At either one of the kiosks, you can mail packages, purchase stamps, and more:

  • Scranton Main Post Office, 2800 Stafford Avenue
  • Wilkes-Barre Main Post Office, 300 South Main Street

Or head to a Contract Postal Units (CPU) that offers postal services at convenient hours. Area CPUs include:

  • Andrew Brown’s Pharmacy (CPU#31), 1502 Pittston Avenue, Scranton

And of course, there is an app for that! You can preview what’s coming to your mailbox. Sign up for Informed Delivery today at www.InformedDelivery.com. The free notification feature provides outside images of letter-sized mail destined for home delivery as well as delivery alerts for packages.

Don't want to leave home, then visit usps.com to ship and send in just a few clicks:

1. Analyze prices, shipping options and delivery times by using the Calculate a Price tool.
2. Receive a discount at checkout on select products when you print, prepare and pay for shipping labels with Click-N-Ship®.
3. Schedule a next day Package Pickup for no extra charge.
4. Order stamps via usps.com for delivery to your home.

The USPS even shares how you can pack a gift like a pro:


And note these other successful shipping tips:
1. Print addresses clearly and in CAPS.
2. Include complete ‘to’ and ‘from’ info.
3. Check usps.com for the correct ZIP Code — never guess.
4. Put a mailing label on the inside of the package, with the contents.
5. Be sure to label a box as ‘FRAGILE’ if it needs to be handled with extra care.
6. Visit usps.com to pay and print postage and schedule a pickup, or drop off your gift for delivery at the Post Office™.

Ship gifts across the globe without leaving home:
1. Use the Postage Calculator tool on usps.com to check prices and compare options.
2. Visit usps.com to complete a customs form and pay the postage.
3. Print your shipping label.
4. Schedule a free next day Package Pickup, or drop off your gift at your local Post Office.

For letters and cards:
1. Use sturdy envelopes, especially when inserting gift cards inside.
2. If sending a gift card, consider sticking an address label on the gift card; if an item is separated from envelope it can be recovered for delivery.
3. Never send cash.

Postal carriers will be out early; out late, and out most Sundays to deliver holiday mail expeditiously. Customers are asked to leave their lights on and their dogs restrained to ensure postal employees have a great holiday too

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