The Great Bend Post Office is encouraging customers to mail early this holiday season, Postmaster Willie Beamon said. The post office has released its suggested mail-by dates to ensure holiday cards and packages reach their destinations in time.
Holiday cards and packages destined for military addresses in Afghanistan should be in the mail no later than Monday, Dec. 3. The mail-by dates for all other military addresses is Dec. 10. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the Postal Service offers a $2 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.
For international destinations, mail-by dates ranged from Dec. 3 to Dec. 13 depending on the destination, with Global Express Guaranteed service available through Dec. 19 for most countries — Dec. 20 if mailing to Canada or Mexico.
Suggested mail-by dates for cards and packages going to U.S. addresses are: Dec. 14 for parcel post; Dec. 20 for first-class mail; Dec. 21 for priority mail and Dec. 22 for express mail.
Monday, Dec. 17, is expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year and Dec. 19-20 are expected to be the biggest delivery days. The Postal Service expects to handle 365 million packages this holiday season, a 20 percent increase over last year. Overall, the Postal Service projects to handle nearly 18 billion cards, packages and letters between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Beamon said the best advice he can give busy postal customers is to ship from home for the holidays. “Customers can save up to 11 percent off Post Office retail prices by mailing online at usps.com, and they can also request a free package pickup,” Beamon said.