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USPS Reveals Busiest Holiday Shipping Days

USPS holidays

USPS HolidaysUSPS is running ads for the holidays and it published its forecast for the busiest shipping days. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail – including over 5 million packages each Sunday in December.

In the past, the US Postal Service had published statistics about the busiest holiday shipping day but now says the notion of a single jackpot day “is a thing of the past.” Instead, it publishes stats on the busiest week, which will be December 17 – 23rd:

“Customer mailing and shipping traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 10, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.”

To handle the surge in volume, the Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery operations in select high-package volume locations during the holiday season. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.

The USPS does predict the busiest day for serving customers online: it expects over 8 million consumers to visit its website on December 17, 2018. And nearly 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services that day “to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.”

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Nearly 105 million consumers will visit the website between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

USPS Holiday Advertising Campaign
The USPS is running several TV commercials, the first aired on November 9th. It’s also utilizing direct mail, TV, radio, print, digital and social media promotions “highlighting the organization’s proud tradition of delivering cheer and value to consumers and businesses.” A direct mail piece with information customers need to know for the holidays was mailed to 105 million homes in time for Thanksgiving.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Shippers must get their USPS Retail Ground packages mailed by December 14 for an estimated delivery before Christmas Day, December 25.

First Class Mail, First Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces) and Priority Mail packages must be mailed by December 20 for estimated delivery by December 25th.

And shippers can use Priority Mail Express up to December 22nd for estimated delivery by December 25th.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.