The U.S. Postal Service announced it is ready to deliver a lot of cheer - in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages - this holiday season.
The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.
"Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters," Postmaster General Megan Brennan said.
"With the Postal Service's unrivaled network and expanded seven-day a week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that's exactly what we'll do this holiday season," she said.
Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers.
While the Postal Service already delivers packages on Sunday in most major cities, following the success of past holiday seasons, it will expand Sunday delivery operations to all locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 27.
More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December.
Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.
The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards.
Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters.
The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.
Skip the trip and ship online
Dec. 19 will be the Postal Service's busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit the Postal Service's website that day.
Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting: usps.com.
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.
Holiday ad campaign
The 2016 holiday campaign emphasizes the proud tradition of delivering cheer and the value the Postal Service offers consumers and businesses during the holidays.
The Postal Service holiday campaign will feature direct mail, TV, radio, print, digital and social media promotions.
The TV spot can be viewed on YouTube, with the direct mail piece going to more than 3 million homes the week of Thanksgiving.
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:
- Nov. 7: APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground
- Dec. 9: APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail and First Class Mail
- Dec. 15: USPS Retail Ground
- Dec. 20: First Class Mail
- Dec. 21: Priority Mail
- Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express
More news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at: usps.com/holidaynews.
Phil Wiebold is a spokesman for U.S. Postal Service.