SIOUX FALLS — Many consumers are in a sprint to the finish getting their holiday gifts and greetings in the mail. This week is anticipated to be the busiest week of the holiday mailing and shipping season for the Postal Service. The agency expects to process and deliver nearly 2.5 billion pieces of mail, including packages, this week alone.

Overall, the Postal Service anticipates delivering 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

The Postal Service has expanded its Sunday delivery operations in select high package volume locations. The agency already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and expects to deliver more than 8 million packages each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express® packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.

2019 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends using the following mailing and shipping deadlines*:

• 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 — Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

• Dec. 21 — Priority Mail

• Dec. 20 — Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

• Dec. 22 — Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express

• Dec. 22 — Hawaii 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 (2) business days.

New This Year

Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a window clerk at a Post Office. Click-N-Ship customers are unaffected by this change.  

Additional Tips

The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1NEtJgO49CVxEQebq6rvJkRE5UXeI2pM) Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to address packages, ship packages and pack a box so items arrive safely.

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