Officials said December is one of the busiest times of the year for the U.S. Postal Service. Mondays are usually the busiest day of the week. However, customers can have their packages delivered on time if they are able to make the postal deadlines.
“People have a tendency to procrastinate, that is a major problem with getting packages delivered on time,” Griffin post office Postmaster Sheba Martin said. “We always have people working here that deliver Express mail and obvious Christmas packages. We have done that for as long as I can remember.”
Some of the mailing deadlines for arrival before Christmas are Dec. 4 for military mail destined for Iraq or Afghanistan. Dec. 11 is the deadline date for military mail to other international destinations. Dec. 15 is the deadline date for Parcel Post, which is the most economical service, according to the United States Postal Service.
Dec. 20 is the deadline for first class mail. It is also the deadline for Priority mail.
Dec. 22 is the deadline date for Express mail. Postal customers should expect long lines at the post office on Dec. 17, which is expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year. The busiest delivery day of the year will likely be Dec. 19.
Martin offered some suggestions in order to avoid long lines at the post office and to avoid delayed package deliveries.
“People can go online and order stamps, print their stamps and make arrangements for their packages to be picked up from their home for free, without ever having to leave the house,” she said.
Customers can use the Internet by logging on to usps.com to get zip code information, check holiday shipping rates, make holiday cards, create holiday postage and order flat-rate boxes.
The flat rate is $8.95.
“The flat-rate boxes are the best to use. It does not matter what it weighs, you can mail a two-pound box for the same rate as a fourteen-pound box,” Martin said. “People do not have to leave the house. They can just do all of their postal business online. The Internet never closes and it is very user-friendly,” Martin said.
For postal customers who prefer taking their packages to the post office, the Griffin postmaster suggests having all packages sealed with return addresses and having the packages ready to ship before arriving at the post office counter.
The Postal Service has created a special mailing and shipping kit designed especially for military families sending packages overseas. Martin said customers interested in shipping packages should consider insuring packages they consider valuable.
“I highly recommend insurance for packages valuing fifty dollars or more. I also recommend delivery confirmation and signature confirmation for shipping packages,” Martin said.
Santa Claus remains one of the most popular customers of the Griffin post office. Martin said letters are pouring in with Christmas lists for the seasonal celebrity. “We have an elf here that helps Santa with all of his mail,” Martin said.