Monday was expected to be the busiest shipping day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service, and Tuesday, December 15th, is the deadline for shipping packages with the USPS in order for them to arrive by Christmas. You can ship them after that but you’ll have to pay extra for expedited shipping to get them there on time.
If you’re shipping with UPS, Friday, December 18th is the deadline to ship to get your packages there by Christmas.
Joanne McCoy of Columbia was at the Main Post Office on Assembly Street in Columbia Monday afternoon. “I’m in here shipping my last box. Hopefully I’m done now, and tomorrow’s the last day to get it there on time, so I’m going to get it done,” she said.
The USPS expects to ship more than 600 million packages during this holiday season.
A record-breaking Cyber Monday could affect shipping times as well, since that means more packages moving through the system. In 2013, some retailers had to give customers refunds because their packages didn’t arrive in time for Christmas.
The USPS has some tips for shipping, including:
Print addresses clearly, using all capital letters
Make sure you include both “to” and “from” addresses
If anything in the box is fragile, make sure the outside of the box is labeled “FRAGILE”
You can make your own eco-friendly packing material by putting popped popcorn in bags and using that to cushion the fragile items in your box.