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Mailmen Expect Heavy Holiday Load
Updated October 27, 2017 7:14 AM
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(UNDATED) - Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail and 850 million packages.

In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Postal Service also expects to deliver 850 million packages, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The Postal Service will be expanding its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 26. The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities, and anticipates delivering more than 6 million packages on Sundays this December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.

"America relies on the Postal Service and our 640,000 dedicated employees to deliver the holidays," said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. "We take great pride in our holiday readiness and preparation, and in our ability to offer reliable, predictable and affordable service in every community in America."

The landscape of holiday mail delivery has changed radically with gift shopping starting earlier than its traditional Thanksgiving Friday date, and combined with the advent of online shopping.

There is no longer a "busiest day" for holiday shopping, the USPS said. Instead, the busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas with the week of December 18-24 predicted to be the season's busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week.

During this week, nearly 3 billion pieces of First Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered. The Postal Service also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

While there may not be a busiest day for shipping this year, the Postal Service anticipates that Dec. 18 will be the Postal Service's busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit for help shipping that special holiday gift. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting -- the Postal Service's website that helps make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier. And is always open.

The Postal Service offers a new feature this year to help you track and schedule package delivery. Our Informed Delivery tool not only allows you to see your incoming mail and packages, it also allows you to reschedule delivery of your packages to ensure you're able to be home to receive them.

2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

  • Nov. 6 - APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

  • Dec. 11 - APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

  • Dec. 14 - USPS Retail Ground

  • Dec. 15 - Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class

  • Dec. 16 - APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express

  • Dec. 16 - First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

  • Dec. 19 - First Class Mail (including greeting cards)

  • Dec. 20 - Priority Mail

  • Dec. 20 - Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express

  • Dec. 20 - Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class

  • Dec. 21 - Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express

  • Dec. 22 - Priority Mail Express

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at

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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