Watch Out For Holiday Deadlines
B y Theresa Juva
From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver a monumental amount of mail: 20 billion cards, letters and packages will make their way through post offices and onto doorsteps. Usually, the Postal Service deals with about 670 million pieces of mail daily, but on the year’s peak day, Dec. 18, it will balloon to 900 million.
To ensure your package gets to its destination, the Postal Service suggests you get your shipments out as early as possible. Gifts crossing oceans and continents need to be dropped off between Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 while bundles not bouncing borders have Dec. 20th and 22nd deadlines for last-minute deliveries. If you get your shopping done early, for regular postal service treatment, drop off your boxes by Dec.13 and get those holiday greeting cards written by Dec.18.
Can’t get to the Post Office, they’ll come to you. If you have Overnight, Priority or International packages to send go online and you can schedule a next-day pick-up of your packages – no matter who many you’ve got. See http://www.usps.com/holiday to learn more about how the Post Office can help. .
If you forgot to send off one last gift, other shipping services like FedEx offer Christmas Day delivery or next-flight deliveries to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada on the 25th. The United Parcel Service has its own fleet of reindeer called SonicAir same-day service which can whisk your package to every U.S. address or 180 countries. At UPS, on its peak day Dec. 20th, 240 packages are delivered a minute, which is why UPS hires 60,000 Santa’s elves just to handle the holiday rush.
When shipping holiday goodies, UPS recommends avoiding moist foods that when exposed are easily spoiled. Stack cookies in a coffee can to keep them from breaking, and check military restrictions before sending holiday treats overseas to a soldier.
Some Middle Eastern countries prohibit items with alcohol – including baking vanilla – so plan ahead, the UPS Web site says. Get packin’ at www.ups.com and www.fedex.com.
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