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USPS postal deadlines are just days away

No matter the time of year, on-time package deliveries start with the customer — and knowing when to ship your packages is key.

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) and domestic addresses*:

· Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

· Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service

· Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military


· Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)

· Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

· Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service

· Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Alaska to/from Continental U.S.

· Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail

· Dec. 18 — Priority Mail

· Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

Hawaii to/from mainland

· Dec. 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

· Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $21.15 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.

To handle this year’s holiday shipping, the Postal Service is expanding Sunday deliveries in high package volume locations. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.

As a reminder, there are also temporary price increases in place through 12:01 a.m., Central Time, Dec. 26.

Here are the temporary price increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground, and First-Class Package Service:

· Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes: 75 cents

· Zones 1-4, 0-10 pounds: 25 cents

· Zones 5-9, 0-10 pounds: 75 cents

· Zones 1-4, 11-20 pounds: $1.50

· Zones 5-9, 11-20 pounds: $3

· Zones 1-4, 21-70 pounds: $2.50

· Zones 5-9, 21-70 pounds: $5

· First-Class Package Service: 30 cents

A zone-pricing calculator can be found onlineA complete list of business products and prices is also available online.

The temporary adjustment is part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.

The busiest time of the season for the Postal Service begins two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of Dec. 6. The week of Dec. 13-18 is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week of the season.

The Postal Service offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to properly address and ship packages, as well as how to pack a box so items arrive safely.

Mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up if you’re using stamps for postage.