USPS Central Illinois District announces 2018 holiday mailing and shipping deadlines

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information provided by the United States Postal Service

BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (November 11, 2018) – The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by December 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:

  • December 4: APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail® and First-Class Mail®
  • December 11: APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 14: USPS Retail Ground
  • December 18: APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express®
  • December 20: First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  • December 20: First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • December 20: Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 20: Priority Mail
  • December 20: Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 22: Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December 22: Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December 22: Priority Mail Express

USPS notes that these dates are not guaranteed, unless otherwise noted. The dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. The 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 December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

Busiest mailing and delivery days


Thanks to more people shopping earlier and shopping online, the Postal Service’s “busiest day” notion is now a thing of the past. Instead, the Postal Service now has a busiest time, and it starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of December 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of December 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week. During this week alone, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards.

Shipping online

Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages, simply visit usps.com, which is open 24 hours a day. The Postal Service anticipates December 17 will be their busiest day online, with more than 8 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping. It’s predicted that nearly 105 million consumers will visit the USPS website between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

It’s estimated nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship® feature and other online services on December 17 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage, and even request free next-day Package Pickup.

New for this year


USPS Informed Delivery™ is the Postal Service’s free daily digital preview of what’s coming to your mailbox. This holiday season, not only can patrons manage their packages and view cards headed their way, they can also see some exterior images of magazines and catalogs—all from a mobile app, dashboard, tablet, or computer. Informed Delivery™ is one more way the Postal Service is helping customers anticipate, communicate and celebrate this holiday season.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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