It's the Busiest Day of the Year at the Post Office. What You Need to Know

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) - It's the busiest day of the year for the U.S. Post Office.  Over 6 million pieces of mail will be mailed in the state of Utah alone today.

That comes out to about 252,000 cards, letters and packages an hour, 4,620 per minute, 70 per second.  Nationwide 611 million pieces of mail will be sent out on the busiest day.  

To handle the rush, Post Offices will be fully staffed to answer questions and direct Utahns.

This holiday season is expected to be a record breaking year for package deliveries.  Delivering 750 million packages nationwide, a 12% increase from last year.

Utah postal workers are expected to deliver a record 6.7 million packages, a 19% increase from last year.  

According to the USPS Salt Lake District Manager, the strategy for keeping up with the rush this holiday season will be to have postal workers deliver mail seven days a week through Christmas, including early morning deliveries in some locations. 

"Our goal is to provide outstanding service to our customers and ensure all those holiday cards and packages are delivered on time," said Stoke. "The best advice I can give to customers is to mail early and conveniently," says District Manager Darrell Stroke.

If you're looking to avoid the lines and the crowds, the post office encourages you to mail from home.  You can print out postage-paid shipping labels at usps.com and request a free pick up of your packages.  

31 post offices throughout the Wasatch Front will have Self-Service Kiosks to assist Utahns 24/7.  They can be found in most Salt Lake metro area Post Offices, two Ogden Post Offices - Ben Lomond and Mount Ogden; and all Post Offices in American Fork, Bountiful, Cedar City, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Roy, and St. George.  There they can purchase stamps, mail and weigh cards and packages with their debit or credit card.

In addition to the nearly 200 Post Offices in Utah there are also more than 30 full-service Contract Post Offices. To find the nearest postal location, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or go to usps.com and click on "Find USPS Locations."

The Post Office also encourages Utahns log on to their website and sign up for text and email notifications to keep track of their package deliveries.  You can also designate a pick up location if the package does not fit in the mailbox by logging online and setting the pick up location either at a neighbors home or at the post office. 

Mail-by Dates

Holiday cards and packages destined for military addresses in Iraq/Afghanistan/Middle East should have been mailed by Dec. 2.
 
Priority Mail Express Military Service is available to all other military addresses and should be mailed no later than Dec. 16. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the USPS offers a $2 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.
 
It's not too late to reach international destinations when using either Priority Mail Express International or Global Express Guaranteed Service.
 
Suggested mail-by dates for cards and packages destined for U.S. addresses are: Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail, Dec. 21 for Priority Mail, and Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express.
 
Mailing tips, mail-by dates and more can be found online at usps.com/holiday.
 
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

TIPS TO AVOID A SHIPPING GLITCH

¯  Print addresses clearly and include all address elements, such as apartment numbers and directional information (ex: 123 S Main St. Apt. 2B)
¯  Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box. Customers should include the new batteries in the original packaging.
¯  Place a card inside the package that contains the delivery and return address. This ensures the package can be delivered or returned should the mailing label become damaged or fall off.
¯  Never guess a ZIP Code. NO ZIP is better than a WRONG ZIP. Look up a ZIP Code at usps.com under Quick Tools.
¯  Include both "to" and "from" information on packages - and only on one side.
¯  Do NOT reuse mailing boxes - they weaken in the shipping process.
¯  Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Priority Mail and Priority Express boxes are free at the local post office.
¯  Leave space for cushioning inside.
¯  Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.
 
 

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