The U.S. Postal Service expects Monday Dec. 20 to be its busiest mailing day with 800 million pieces entering the system.
That number will be 40 percent higher than the average daily volume of 559 million pieces of mail, USPS said.
"There's still time to mail greeting cards and ship presents," said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. "If customers get their cards and packages to us by Tuesday, Dec. 21, we'll get them delivered by Christmas."
Dec. 20 is the recommended deadline for sending greeting cards and holiday letters to arrive in time for Christmas. Dec. 21 is the recommended deadline for sending packages using Priority Mail. The Postal Service recommends Dec. 22 as the last day to ship packages using Express Mail.
After suffering an $8.5 billion loss in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the post office is out to prove its value with up to date services.
Customers can skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and ship online using the Postal Service's Web site, usps.com. Using Click-N-Ship, customers can print shipping labels and pay for postage. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes virtually eliminate the need for a scale to weigh the package.
"Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and usps.com offer the best shipping solutions for the holidays," said Donahoe. "If the gift fits, it ships, for one low rate to anywhere in the country. Go online, create the shipping label and we'll pick up your packages for free. You can even pay for your postage online."
Customers also may request free package pickup online at usps.com. The Postal Service will pick up packages during regular mail delivery the next business day.
Automated Postal Centers, self-service kiosks, allow customers to buy stamps or mail letters and packages in a self-service environment. This equipment is often located in the postal lobby with 24-hour customer access. APCs support up to 85 percent of retail transactions, including the purchase of additional services such as Delivery Confirmation. Customers can purchase stamps or mail letters and parcels using debit or EBT credit cards.
-- Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.