USPS offers holiday mailing suggestions

The Maui News

The U.S. Postal Service is expecting to process and deliver more than 16 billion pieces of mail and 850 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year with the first suggested mailing deadlines beginning this week.

Holiday package volume is expected to be up 10 percent from last holiday season.

The suggested dates give Hawaii residents’ mail the best chances of reaching its destinations by Christmas, the Postal Service said. The destinations, first-class and priority and priority-express mail suggested deadlines follow:

• International — Wednesday and Dec. 13.

• Military Army Post Office and Fleet Post Office — Wednesday and Dec. 13.

• American Samoa – Thursday and Dec. 14.

• Guam and Saipan — Dec. 13 and 19.

• Mainland — Dec. 15 and 20.

• Hawaii — Dec. 21 and 22.

The dates apply to each post office’s cutoff time.

The dates are not deadlines, and packages and letters sent shortly after the suggested dates, under normal holiday conditions, may arrive before Christmas.

There will be no extended retail hours this year in Hawaii. The Postal Service encourages customers to use Self Service Ship & Mail Centers at the Kihei, Lahaina and Wailuku post offices.

To save time and money, the Postal Service suggests using flat-rate boxes and paying postage and printing out mailing labels at Notify the Postal Service at and the customer’s carrier will pick up packages from home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra cost for service.

Free insurance is offered on all priority mail and priority-express envelopes and boxes.