With the holidays just around the corner, it seems like everybody is getting prepared for the hustle and bustle of the season—especially the United States Postal Service! In a recent press statement, the USPS announced that they are expecting to deliver 850 million packages this year, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, USPS revealed that because people are buying, and subsequently sending, their gifts in the mail much earlier than they have in the past, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. Rather, the two weeks leading up to Christmas remain consistently busy, both in stores and online. However, USPS predicts that December 18th will be their busiest day online, as they expect more than 7 million customers to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift.

In order to keep up with the demands of this upcoming holiday season, the USPS will be rolling out a few changes to ensure that they’re delivering the quality experience people have come to rely on (pun intended):

  • The USPS will start making Sunday deliveries to high-package volume areas starting Sunday, November 26th.
  • In select locations, mail carriers will be delivering packages on Christmas day (only Priority Express packages will be delivered.).
  • This year, USPS’s website offers a new feature that allows people to track their incoming packages. No more wondering if the ugly Christmas sweater you ordered will arrive in time for the holiday party! The Informed Delivery feature allows you to keep track of your incoming packages, as well as select exactly when you’d like your packages to be delivered, so you can ensure you’re home to receive them.

“We take great pride in our holiday readiness and preparation, and in our ability to offer reliable, predictable and affordable service in every community in America,” Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO explained.

For the latest information about mailing packages throughout the holiday season, visit http://about.usps.com/holidaynews/.

2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Nov. 6

  • APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 11

  • APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

Dec. 14

  • USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 15

  • Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class

Dec. 16

  • APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express
  • First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

Dec. 19

  • First Class Mail (including greeting cards)

Dec. 20

  • Priority Mail
  • Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express
  • Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class

Dec. 21

  • Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express

Dec. 22

  • Priority Mail Express