WASHINGTON — This is the last week to get holiday gifts and greetings in the mail by the recommended deadlines. Customer traffic at all Post Office locations has been steadily increasing since Dec. 5, and this week is expected to be the busiest.
The Postal Service has been preparing for the holiday peak — the time between Black Friday and New Year’s Day — since January, building on investments and organizational strategy improvements made ahead of the successful 2021 holiday mailing and shipping season.
Preparations include converting 100,000 workers to full time since the beginning of 2021, with more than 41,000 part-time workers converted to full time since January 2022. A national drive began in October to hire an additional 20,000 seasonal employees, an extra 10.5 million square feet of space has been added to the network to process packages, 23 temporary peak annexes have been opened in addition to the 48 parcel support annexes opened for peak 2021, and we’ve installed 137 new package sorting machines. This brings the organization’s total to 249 new processing machines since the launch of the Delivering for America plan in March 2021. The new equipment combined with increased operational and network improvements will expand the organization’s package processing capacity to 60 million packages a day.
As in previous years, Sunday delivery has been expanded in select locations that experience high package volumes. The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
Wrap It Up Without Leaving Home
If you prefer to ship gifts from the comfort of home, you can use the Click-N-Ship feature on usps.com. Customers can order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup*. And of course, usps.com is always open.
*Boxes are delivered within the United States with your regular mail, usually within seven to 10 business days. Exclusions apply; for details and to order, visit store.usps.com/store. Customers can schedule free pickup for the next delivery day at the same time mail is delivered by his or her letter carrier. Pickup on demand is available for an additional fee. See usps.com/pickup for details.
2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) and domestic addresses*:
- Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
- Dec. 17 — USPS Retail Ground service
- Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
- Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
- Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service
- Dec. 18 — Alaska to/from continental U.S.– First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
- Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from continental U.S.– Priority Mail Express
- Dec. 17 — Hawaii to/from mainland – First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
- Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland – Priority Mail Express
*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.
- Packages containing used electronics or other hazardous materials — lithium-ion batteries, in particular — must now be shipped via surface transportation using Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Return Service or Ground Return Service.
- Certain items may have restrictions or prohibitions when sent through the mail. See the list of hazardous, restricted and perishable mail or ask a Postal Service employee for more information on what can and cannot be sent through the mail.
- Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick and use stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a retail associate at any of our more than 34,000 Post Office locations. This requirement does not apply to Click-N-Ship customers.
The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in 10 video “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and addresses a different topic, such as how to address packages, how to ship packages, and how to pack a box so items arrive safely.
Additional news and information — including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines — can be found on the Postal Service’s Holiday Newsroom webpage: usps.com/holidaynews.