INDIANA — The United States Postal Service is offering easy tips to ensure their customers’ packages end up under the tree and not in thieves’ hands this holiday season. Starting this week, the postal service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week leading up to Christmas, on the way to deliver more than 900 million packages, a USPS holiday record, during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
“This is our season at the postal service, and we take pride in ensuring that our customers’ holiday mailings arrive safely and in time for the holidays,” said Greater Indiana District Manager Todd Hawkins. “Our best advice is not to leave your delivered mail or packages unattended, and USPS offers a variety of services to ensure your mail and packages are delivered without incident.”
Here are some tips to ensure your holiday shipments arrive to their destination safe and sound:
- Consider an alternate shipping address. Customers can arrange to have packages delivered to neighbors who are home during the day or get packages delivered at work, if permitted.
- Change the package’s address — while it’s in transit. Customers who know they won’t be home when their package is delivered can try USPS Package Intercept. Customize the delivery. If the package doesn’t fit in the mailbox and the customer won’t be home to receive it, the customer can provide delivery instructions online and authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit usps.com, enter the tracking number and select Delivery Instructions.
- Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping packages, customers can choose the Hold for Pickup option and the recipients can collect the packages at their local post office
- Going out of town? Hold mail at the local post office. Instead of risking leaving a package unattended for an extended period of time, customers planning on being away from home for a few days are encouraged to take advantage of the Request Hold Mail service. Letters and packages will be held securely at the local post office until the customers return.
- Secure the shipment using USPS Signature Services. Signature Services help ensure the package ends up in the right hands by requiring a signature at the time of delivery.
The postal service recommends customers in the U.S. observe the following mailing and shipping deadlines to ensure that deliveries are made in time for Christmas:
December 14 — USPS Retail Ground
December 20 — First-Class Mail/Packages
December 20 — Priority Mail
December 22 — Priority Mail Express
USPS also recommends customers join the millions of others who have already signed up for Informed Delivery. This free service, offered at www.InformedDelivery.com, will send text messages or email alerts notifying that a package is coming and additional notifications when the package has been delivered.
The postal service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.