Postal Service shipping tips

By on December 3, 2018

The holiday season is upon us. The United States Postal Service will handle approximately 16 billion letters, cards and packages during this holiday season. Of those, approximately 900 million will be packages.

Western NY Post Offices (zip codes beginning with 140 through 149) will deliver about 10 million packages during the holidays. In many areas, delivery of packages will occur seven days per week (including Sundays), in the early mornings and evenings to facilitate extra volume. Please leave lights on and dogs restrained to keep carriers safe.

When shipping gifts for the holidays, be sure to allow enough time for packages to arrive at their destination. The deadline for ground shipping is December 14, while First-Class Mail® and Priority Mail® needs to be sent by December 20. For a full list of domestic, military and international deadlines go to

Packaging tips to pack a gift like a pro:

•Pick a strong and sturdy box, and tape it closed tightly.

•Cushion contents to protect them during transportation, and wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material.

•Place wrapped gift boxes inside a plain larger box.

•Remove all batteries from electronics.

•Remember to place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.

Successful shipping tips:

•Print addresses clearly and in CAPS.

•Include complete ‘to’ and ‘from’ info.

•Check for the correct zip code – never guess.

•Put mailing label on the inside of the package, with the contents.

•Be sure to label a box as ‘FRAGILE’ if it needs to be handled with extra care.

•Visit to pay and print postage and schedule a pickup, or drop off your gift for delivery at the Post Office™.

Ship gifts across the globe without leaving home:

•Use the Postage Calculator tool on to check prices and compare options.

•Visit to complete a customs form and pay the postage.

•Print your shipping label.

•Schedule a free next day Package Pickup, or drop off your gift at your local Post Office.

For letters and cards:

•Use sturdy envelopes, especially when inserting gift cards inside.

•If sending a gift card, consider sticking an address label on the gift card; if item is separated from envelope it can be recovered for delivery.

•Never send cash.

May your holiday shipping season be merry and bright.

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