The week leading up to Christmas is a busy one for the Postal Service. The organization released some data on just how busy things will be.
Facts and Figures
The Postal Service expects to process about 3 billion pieces of mail (including Christmas cards) this week alone along with 200 million packages each week from December 11-24. It is expecting to deliver a total of 15 billion pieces of mail and 850 million packages during the winter holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
To meet the demand, the Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery options and expects to deliver more than 6 million packages each Sunday in December.
Don’t be surprised if you encounter delays on mail you’ve sent or expect to receive. A package that was sent to me was supposed to arrive last Thursday but it wasn’t actually delivered until Monday. This did not seem surprising to me this time of year, and the delay probably was not all that bad given the unusually high shipping volume.
2017 Christmas Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Christmas Day:
- Dec. 19 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
- Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
- Dec. 20 – Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express
- Dec. 20 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail and First–Class Mail
- Dec. 21 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express
- Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express
Post Office locations nationwide will be closed Christmas Eve (December 24) Christmas Day (December 25) New Year’s Eve (December 31) and New Year’s Day (January 1).