WASHINGTON — The Postal Service kicked off the holiday shipping season today by announcing that it will be delivering packages seven days a week in major cities and high volume areas starting Nov. 17 through Christmas Day in response to expected double-digit package volume growth.
“The Postal Service will be out making deliveries every single day during the holiday season, including Christmas Day, ” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “During the holidays, no carrier makes more deliveries to more places than the Postal Service, and this year, we’re raising the bar with enhanced tracking and Sunday delivery.”
The demand for package service has grown as online retailers ship more products to their customers. The Postal Service is adding package delivery on Sundays during the holidays to prepare for the heavy shipping season.
“Every household in America relies on us to get their packages in time for the holidays, and we take great pride in taking on that responsibility, ” said Donahoe. “We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver for our customers.”
Due to continued e-commerce growth and improvements to its Priority Mail product line, the Postal Service is expecting double-digit growth in its package business this holiday season, likely in the range of 450 to 470 million packages. That equates to roughly 12 percent growth over the same period last year.
“Football has its season. But the holidays? That’s our season, ” said Donahoe. “That’s crunch time for us, and year after year, we step up our game. E-commerce package business continues to be a big player now more than ever, so we’ve enhanced our network to ensure America that we’ll deliver their cards, gifts and letters in time for the holidays.”
While its competitors recently announced price increases, the Postal Service lowered some of its prices for businesses and frequent shippers. The new Priority Mail pricing offers affordable shipping options along with improved tracking and reliability for business customers.
“The Postal Service is a vital business partner for small and large businesses and lowering shipping prices will save them money and improve their bottom line, ” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer. “With our affordable shipping options, we hope to attract new business customers and become their preferred delivery service.”
2014 Christmas Shipping Deadlines
For expected delivery of holiday mail and packages by Christmas, the Postal Service recommends keeping the following mailing and shipping deadlines in mind:
- Dec. 2 – First-Class Mail International/Priority Mail International
- Dec. 10 – Priority Mail Express International
- Dec. 15 – Standard Post
- Dec. 17 – Global Express Guaranteed
- Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail/Priority Mail (domestic)
- Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express (domestic)
Skip the lines and ship online
Consumers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com — the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier. Nearly 75 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.
Launching holiday advertising campaign
The Postal Service is also launching its advertising campaign today with a wide range of media activities, ranging from direct mail to television and print advertisements, to social media and digital promotion.