SAN DIEGO – Sending out a Christmas package this holiday season? Better do it soon.
The U.S. Postal Service is warning procrastinators that they’ll need to ship out their mail by the end of this week in order to guarantee its arrival ahead of Christmas. Wednesday was the agency’s deadline for USPS Retail Ground Service with suggested shipping dates for First-Class Mail and Priority Mail services coming Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Some 2.3 billion packages and cards are expected to be processed through the Postal Service this week, according to the agency.
“It does seem like it’s backed up a lot this year,” said Lindsey Nakagawa, an attorney who was shipping out gifts for the holidays Wednesday. “I know with a lot of the shipment delays and the supply problems that everything is a little slower this year, but hopefully these will get out and get there in time — especially the cookies because I don’t want them to spoil.”
Nakagawa may be one of the lucky ones. Her cards and cookies are slated to make it to their destination before Christmas using Ground Service shipping on Wednesday’s deadline.
For those delaying their package sending, they’ll face steeper and steeper costs.
Premium shipping options are available, but as urgency is added and shipping time is slashed, expenses grow. Costs can go up an estimated 90% if senders wait until the last moment, which comes Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express Service.
“This is our busiest week, so we are responding to that by having more people here, utilizing our equipment a little longer,” said Warren Burton, a program manager with the U.S. Postal Service.
But speaking to FOX 5 Wednesday, some customers were thrilled to beat the deadline.
“These three ladies outside to help you with your package and with your mail, they did a good job,” postal customer Joe Ang said.
More information on key USPS holiday shipping dates is available by clicking or tapping here.