Holiday Mail Tips

Meridian Postmaster Danny Swancey shared some advice for getting gift packages delivered promptly and safely.

"First of all you want to start with a good sturdy box. Make sure there is a layer of protection around whatever you put inside the box," said Swancey. "(You can use) bubble wrap. You can use newspapers. The styrofoam popcorn or pop real popcorn and put it in there. A lot of people use grocery sacks."

"The main thing is to keep whatever's inside secure and keep it from bouncing around. And also put another label inside the box," said Swancey. "So if something were to happen and the address on the outside were smeared and we had to open it, this would be able to tell us where it goes."

"Also use the good fiber tape. Do not use string or paper bags because they tear," the postmaster said. "Also put tape over the address so it doesn't get wet outside.

How long does it take for packages to reach their destination?

Swancey said, "Priority mail is two to three days service standard anywhere in the country. I wouldn't mail anything any later than Friday or Saturday Dec. 20 and 21, if you want it to make it there by Christmas time. Right now we're open from 7:40 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Mondays. Tuesday through Friday we're open 7:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays, we're open from 7:40 a.m. until 11 a.m."

The post office will soon extend its hours to accommodate the increase in the flow of mail and packages.

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Holiday Mail Tips

  • International Packages: Should be mailed by the week following Thanksgiving and no later than the first week of December to ensure pre-Christmas arrival.

  • Domestic Packages: Those sent by parcel post should be delivered within 7-10 days.

  • Priority Mail: Packages sent after Dec. 14 should be sent Priority Mail which should be delivered within in 2-3 days.

  • Express Mail: Express Mail offers next-day delivery, including Christmas Day, and beginning Dec. 16, is the best way to ensure pre-Christmas delivery of packages.

Addressing Tips

  • Write, type or print the complete address neatly. Make sure to include suffixes such as Ave. Blvd. and St., as well as locators such as N, W, SW.

  • Don’t forget the ZIP code, but if you aren’t sure what it is, don’t guess. Verify the ZIP Code here. Use the four-digit add-on, ZIP+4; hyphenate the ZIP+4.

  • Always use a return address.

  • Always use the two-letter state abbreviations and common abbreviations. View the abbreviations chart.

Packaging Tips

  • Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.

  • Cushion package contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.

  • Stuff glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage due to shock. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

  • Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the package.

  • Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape.

  • Do not sue wrapping paper, string, masking tape or cellophane tape.

  • Put the delivery and return address on one side only of the package.

  • Place a return label inside the package.

  • Take packages that weigh at least one pound into the post office for mailing.

Source: www.usps.com (Unites States Postal Service Web site) contributed to this report.


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