USPS Prepares for Holiday Season

USPS trucks | Image by Jonathan Weiss

The United States Postal Service has announced its holiday deadlines as peak holiday season deliveries continue along a downward trend.

Online retailers like Amazon have made it possible for customers to purchase holiday gifts from the comfort of their homes without having to visit a physical store. The convenience has not only saved customers valuable time but has also eliminated the need to visit a post office to send gifts to their intended recipients.

Data from the 2022 holiday season shows that 11.7 billion pieces of mail were handled, a significant decline from the 13.2 billion packages and bits of mail handled during the 2021 holiday season, according to the most recent Delivering for America progress report, a 10-year USPS strategic plan aimed at revitalizing the postal service.

Despite the significant decrease between April 2022 and March 2023, the postal service served as many as 165 million U.S. addresses during the period.

Comparatively, the e-commerce giant Amazon shipped approximately 585.6 million packages within the same date range, averaging 1.6 million packages a day, which works out to 18.5 orders per second, according to statistics provided by LandingCube.

Another factor weighing in on the postal scale is the speed of delivery and cost of shipping.

Nearly 80% of U.S. internet users say they primarily shop on Amazon because of its fast, free shipping. The company’s diverse product selection came in at 69% as far as why users say they patronize the online mega-retailer, according to Statista.

This holiday season, USPS is responding by not imposing holiday peak or demand surcharges and offering a new option called USPS Ground Advantage, as reported by NBC 5 DFW.

According to USPS’ website, USPS Ground Advantage ships to all 50 states, including military bases, and ships hazardous materials that cannot be delivered by air. For more information on USPS Ground Advantage, click here.

For delivery on or before Christmas, USPS Ground Advantage and first-class mail (including greeting cards) must be shipped by December 16 for the lower 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), per NBC 5. The shipping deadline for priority mail is December 18.

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