TOPEKA — With 15.8 billion cards, letters and packages to be delivered between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, the U.S. Postal Service has some shipping tips to help get gifts delivered promptly and safely during the holiday season. “The Postal Service is making it easier to ship packages to family and friends this season,” said Topeka Postmaster B. Steven Pinkerton.
“Proper addressing and packaging will ensure every gift receives the service it deserves.” The Postal Service offers free, environmentally friendly Flat Rate Priority Mail boxes as well as regular Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes and envelopes. These supplies can be ordered at usps.com or picked up at a local Post Office.
“Our Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes are the best combination of value and convenience in the shipping business,” said Pinkerton. “One low rate to any state, with no calculating of postage or weighing necessary. If it fits, it ships.” The Postal Service also offers pre-packaged shipping products for customers needing sturdy, secure boxes, envelopes and even greeting cards.
“When you mail online with Click-N-Ship at usps.com, you qualify for a discount on Priority Mail and Express Mail” adds Pinkerton. “The more you ship, the more you save. And when a package is ready to be shipped, log on to usps.com/pickup to schedule free package pickup right from your home or office. Skip the trip and do all of your shipping online.”
Pinkerton says first of all..
Make sure packages are able to withstand processing without the contents or packaging breaking.
Cushion items with bubble wrap, newspaper, or “foam peanuts” so they do not shift during transit.
Wrap each item separately when packing more than one item in the same box.
Remove batteries from electronic devices and wrap separately.
Close and shake the box to see if there is enough cushioning. If items are shifting, add more cushioning.
Mark packages "Fragile" in large print on the outside of the box when shipping materials that might be more likely to break. ·
When re-using a box, make sure previous labels and markings are covered before mailing.
Mark "perishable" on packages that contain food or other items that can spoil.
Place an extra address label with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.
Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes.
Do not use string, cellophane and masking tape to seal packages.
Packages can weigh up to 70 lbs. and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and width. Make sure the width is measured around the largest point of the package.
Guidelines for addressing envelopes and packages:· Print complete address clearly.
Use the proper ZIP Code. ZIP Codes can be found at usps.com or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.
Print the delivery and return addresses on the same side of the envelope or package.
Always use a return address. It tells the Postal Service where to return mail if it cannot be delivered.
The Postal Service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure your gift arrives on time:
Now through December 20 — International Mail (dates vary depending on service selected, call 1-800-ASK-USPS for info)
Dec. 4 — Military mail destined for Iraq or Afghanistan
Dec. 10 — Military mail for other overseas bases
Dec. 15 — Parcel Post, the most economical shipping service
Dec. 20 — First-Class Mail
Dec. 21 — Priority Mail
Dec. 22 — Express Mail