Postal Service gears up for holiday season

USPS to handle more than half a billion packages this season

Staff Report

The United States Postal Service expects to deliver a total of approximately 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats, and packages during the 2015 holiday season. In addition, it’s projecting approximately 600 million packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, which is an increase of 10.5 percent over last year’s volume.

In time for the holidays, the Postal Service will offer real-time delivery notifications—meaning customers who sign up for alerts at will receive notification within a few minutes of the delivery scan for select packages.

The Postal Service plans to hire 30,000 employees for the 2015 holiday season to meet the needs of its customers.

Following the success of the 2014 holiday season, the Postal Service will again deliver packages seven days a week in select major cities and high-volume areas beginning Nov. 29, for the four Sundays before Christmas. They expect to deliver on average approximately 5 million packages every Sunday during December.

Skip the lines and ship online or use Self-Service Kiosks

Consumers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting—the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier. Take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season by using Click-N-Ship on It allows customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup when the letter carrier delivers your mail.

Self-Service Kiosks, available at over 2,800 locations nationwide provide quick access for postal products and services just as ATMs provide for banking customers. There is no extra fee. Using credit and debit cards, the kiosk enables customers to weigh and mail letters and parcels as well as purchase stamps. It also dispenses postage in any amount for Priority Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class and Standard Post services. The kiosk provides mailing information such as ZIP Code lookup and accepts post office box renewals. Postal technology also delivers a Spanish-language option at USPS self-service kiosks. To find a kiosk near you, use the Find Locations tool at

Mailing Tips

· Print addresses clearly and include all address elements, such as apartment numbers and directional information (ex: 123 S Main St. Apt. 2B).

· Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box. Customers should include the new batteries in the original packaging.

· Place a card inside the package that contains the delivery and return address. This ensures the package can be delivered or returned should the mailing label become damaged or fall off.

· Never guess a ZIP Code. No zip is better than a wrong zip.

· Include both “to” and “from” information on packages—and only on one side.

· Do not reuse mailing boxes—they weaken in the shipping process.

· Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Priority Mail and Priority Express boxes are free at the local post office.

· Leave space for cushioning inside.

· Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

· As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 14, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. The busiest mailing day also is expected to be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to

Monday, Dec. 21, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates that more than 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.

The Postal Service recommends the following holiday mail-by-dates to ensure your gift arrives on time:

Recommended Mail-By-Dates

Thursday, Dec. 10 – Military mail for overseas bases

Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Standard Post

Saturday, Dec. 19 – First-Class Mail

Monday, Dec. 21 – Priority Mail

Wednesday, Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express

Holiday Forever Stamps

For more than 50 years, the United States Postal Service has issued Christmas-themed stamps. Our customers find placing holiday stamps on seasonal greeting cards as much a part of their holiday rituals as hanging Christmas stockings. And the Postal Service continues this time-honored tradition today as in years past. New Forever Stamp offerings for the 2015 holiday season include Geometric Snowflakes and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Other secular Forever stamps include Gingerbread Houses, Global Holiday: Ponsettia, Silver Bells Wreath, and Winter Fun. Religious-themed Forever holiday stamps available this year include Hanukkah, Holy Family, Kwanzaa, Madonna of the Candelabra by Raphael, and Virgin and Child by Jan Gosseart. Customers can purchase stamps at Post Offices or online at

The ‘Mailbox Miracle’ Experiences

From now until Dec. 28, the Postal Service is inviting the public to share in a holiday-themed augmented reality (AR) experience that brings the nation’s 160,000 blue Post Office collection boxes to life via smartphones. The invitation is part of a mailing that provides information on exciting postal products, services and key mailing dates to make this the most convenient holiday mailing season ever. Our mailing to the nation’s households is one part of our holiday advertising campaign that ranges from direct mail to television and print advertisements, to social media and digital promotion. Thanks to the new AR app, you can take a photo with a variety of animated characters and share it on social media. Download the Postal Service’s AR app at Google Play or at the iTunes App Store. Then stand next to a blue collection box and with the app activated, hover over the USPS logo on the box. Customers accessing can find blue collection boxes near their current location by visiting this link and clicking the “Post Offices and Approved Postal Providers” icon. Scroll down to collection boxes and then enter a ZIP Code or address.

New figures will be added regularly as we count down to the holidays. Here’s the schedule for the Augmented Reality series over the coming weeks:

· Dec. 4: Holiday tree

· Dec. 7: Bow in wrapping paper

· Dec. 11: Holiday countdown

· Dec. 14: Cuckoo clock

· Dec. 18: Season’s Greetings

· Dec. 21: Charlie Brown characters

· Dec. 25: Yule log

· Dec. 28: Schedule pick up for returns

The Kentuckiana District serves ZIP Codes 400-409, 411-427 in Kentucky and 471, 476-477 in Southern Indiana.

The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses; it relies entirely on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
USPS to handle more than half a billion packages this season

Staff Report

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