NATIONAL NEWS

Prepping for the Holidays With Important Dates

WASHINGTON — The holidays bring many things — gifts, family gatherings, decorating and festivities. For 2022, they also bring a few updates from the Postal Service for shipping deadlines and temporary pricing changes, as well as new package regulations.

2022 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) addresses*:

  • Nov. 5   — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 9   — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
  • Dec. 17 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Alaska

  • Dec. 2   — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. — USPS Retail Ground
  • Dec. 17 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. — First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Alaska to/from Continental U.S. — Priority Mail Express

Hawaii

  • Dec. 17 — Hawaii to/from mainland — First-Class Mail and Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Hawaii to/from mainland — Priority Mail Express

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

New Seasonal Stamps

There are several new holiday and seasonal stamps available for your greeting cards and letters. They can be found online at the Postal Store or at any one of more than 34,000 Post Office locations. As a reminder, as of July 10, the cost of a First-Class Forever stamp increased to 60 cents from 58 cents.

New Hazardous Materials Shipping Restrictions

For safety reasons, effective June 6, packages containing hazardous materials —lithium-ion batteries, in particular — must now be mailed by surface transportation using Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Return Service or Ground Return Service.

The Postal Service issued the new requirements for shipping used electronics and other hazardous materials because items of this nature can cause fires and other dangers to mailers, air carriers, aircraft passengers and others.

Customers can find detailed information on common hazardous, restricted and perishable materials in the Postal Service’s Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.

Temporary Pricing Adjustments

For the 2022 holiday season, the Postal Service has implemented temporary price adjustments. The changes are in place through Jan. 22, 2023, 12:01 a.m. Central time, for both retail and business customers.

The changes include some of the Postal Service’s more popular shipping products, which also includes military shipping: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground. International products are unaffected.

These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive and are similar to adjustments in past years to help cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful holiday season. More information can be found at usps.com.

The temporary adjustments are part of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.

More tips for a successful holiday mailing and shipping season:

  • Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. They are available at local Post Office locations or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
  • Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
  • Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.*
  • Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a window clerk at a Post Office location.
  • Packages containing used electronics or other hazardous materials — lithium-ion batteries, in particular — must now be shipped via surface transportation.

*Boxes are delivered within the U.S. with your regular mail, usually within 7 to 10 business days. Exclusions apply, for details and to order, visit the Postal Store.

Additional holiday news and information can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom: usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service generally 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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