Shipping holiday gifts? Do so sooner than later, says USPS

November 24, 2020

    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If you plan on shipping packages for the holidays, do so as soon as possible.

    Ray Daiutolo, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service Philadelphia metro area, expects the number of packages in the system will start picking up as early as Black Friday.

    ”We are expecting significant volume increases right now,” he said. “Those are going to be difficult to predict, but we’re committed to making sure the gifts and cards will be delivered on time.”

    One of the things consumers need to do, he said, is make sure their packages are securely wrapped.

    “You want to make sure the box that you choose is sturdy and that you have good packaging in there to protect items,” he explained. “Another thing: Any items that are battery-operated, it’s always a good idea to remove the battery from the items and place it in the box separately.”

    If the battery is in the item and it turns on, Daiutolo said it could be considered a “suspicious package,” which would then be opened for review — delaying the delivery even more.

    It may seem implied, but also double-check that the shipping address is correct.

    Daiutolo said all of the information in an address is important. For instance, South Main Street will get the package to the right place, but South Mian Street may create a delay.

    The correct ZIP code is very important too, he added.

    Shipping deadlines

    To ensure your package is delivered before or on Christmas Day, the deadline to ship first-class mail with USPS is Dec. 18. For priority mail, it’s Dec. 19. And for the procrastinators, priority express can get packages delivered on time if they’re sent on Dec. 23.

    In a statement, FedEx said it is also prepared for an unprecedented peak season in a challenging environment. So if you need a package to arrive in two days, FedEx said it must be shipped — at the latest — by Dec. 22.

    The last day for express overnight shipping is Dec. 23, and in some markets — for an additional fee — FedEx packages mailed on Dec. 23 will be delivered on Christmas Eve.

    All FedEx locations close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

    Both companies emphasize to consumers that the expected volume of packages this season could have an impact on all of these projected timelines.

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