If you're planning to mail out those homemade fruitcakes this year, the U.S. Postal Service wants you to know the mailing deadlines in Florida.
"Between now and New Year's Day, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail – for a total of nearly 16 billion cheerful deliveries this holiday season," officials declared.
Customers planning to mail cards and packages are encouraged to visit a local Post Office no later than the following dates for delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/ Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses.
Of course it's the mail. There are no certainties in life, at least not with this particular agency. Earlier is always better.
Here are the dates to keep in mind:
- USPS Retail Ground
- APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express
- First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
- First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Priority Mail
- Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
- Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
- Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
- Priority Mail Express
Officials stressed that actual delivery dates may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time as well as other variables.
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 two business days.
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.
Postal officials said there is no more "busiest day" thanks to the increase in early and online gift shopping.
"Customer mailing and shipping traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 10, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks," according to officials. "The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly three billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered."
If you dread going into the Post Office during the holidays, you can also try to do everything online at usps.com. The Postal Service anticipates Dec. 17 will be the Postal Service's busiest day online with more than eight million consumers predicted to visit usps.com.
"It's predicted that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the website between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. And usps.com is always open," officials said. "It's estimated nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 17 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup."
Informed Delivery is the Postal Service's free daily digital preview of what's coming to your mailbox.