USPS mail and tracking before the holidays: ship gifts early if you want them to arrive before Christmas

Many people express frustration as they track their packages whether they sent or are receiving them. Often times there will be a “delivery by” date, until that date passes and the package still hasn’t arrived to its destination. With Christmas ahead, it’s important people have an idea of what they need to do to ensure their gifts arrive on time.

What to Americans need to do to ensure their package arrives on the date tracking provides?

First, the USPS suggests customers start shopping earlier to begin with as supply chain issues negatively impact people’s ability to purchase specific gifts they may want closer to the holidays.

While inflation has impacted various goods and services, it has impacted U.S. Postal services as well.

Mail delivery times have been slowed down and post offices throughout the country have shortened their hours as the labor shortage continues to impact every industry. Delivery times for first class mail will be slowed by 39%, and things like magazines or periodicals will see their delivery times slowed by 93%.

The USPS has created a 10 year plan called Delivering For America that is supposed to achieve financial stability and service.

At this current moment there is a temporary price increase in place until Dec. 26:

  • PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes – $0.75
  • Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs. – $0.25
  • Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs. – $0.75
  • Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs. – $1.50
  • Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs. – $3.00
  • Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs. – $2.50
  • Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs. – $5.00
  • First-Class Package Service – $0.30

There are also deadlines that will get packages to their destination in time:

  • Nov. 6 — USPS Retail Ground (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office)
  • Dec. 9 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail for (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office)
  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground
  • Dec. 16 — USPS Priority Mail Express Military (Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office)
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (smaller, up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express

Related: The House Subcommittee on Government Operations is struggling to help the USPS improve performance


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