Postal service releases holiday shipping deadlines
The holiday shopping season was underway before Thanksgiving.
Columbia postal carriers sorted thousands of holiday packages with their regular daily mail this week. Carriers would not deliver any packages that were wrapped incorrectly. Post office workers sold the proper materials for wrapping packages.
Columbia Postmaster Jim Maher said, “Mail early. Mail often. Keep it coming. We’re going to get all of your holiday treasures home for you. Be patient when you come into the lobby.”
Delivery drivers at companies like USPS, Fed Ex and UPS expected to deliver more than 750 million packages nationwide during the holidays this year. Postal carriers encouraged everyone to mail their packages as early as possible. Some Columbia postal customers took that advice.
Steve Reeves said, “I sent a package to Boston for Christmas as I’m trying to beat the rush, but I have a lot of them to send.”
Morgan Campbell said, “It was actually really quick. I was surprised. I honestly like going here versus the UPS Store.”
Ryan Herman said, “I know the spiel about hazardous stuff. I know a lot of times they charge you for tape and stuff like that. I try to come here 100% prepared and boxed up where all I have to do is drop it off.”
Postal workers did not recommend used boxes for shipping holiday packages because they were more likely to rip or tear in the rain or snow.
Post office officials recommended that you ship your packages by the following dates to ensure timely delivery. The shipping deadline for standard ground service was December 14. The deadline for first class mail, that provided delivery in three days or less, was December 19. The deadline for priority mail was December 20. The shipping deadline for priority mail express was December 22.
Postal workers said the best advice was shipping your packages as soon as possible and comparing the cost of delivery services.
Postal officials said thieves stole more than 23 million packages from front porches and mailboxes in 2016.
They suggested tracking your package to see where it is at and when it will arrive.