Busiest Day of Year for USPS, UPS

USPS Tips for Easy Mailing

  • Use priority packaging for products when possible -- they have easy flat rates
  • Secure packages with bubble wrap and packing peanuts to make sure there's no damage incurred when mailed
  • Try using self-service kiosks if you have a credit or debit card -- often, you can skip the lines and some are open 24/7
  • Consider pre-ordering mailing materials online
  • To ensure Christmas delivery, mail your materials:
    • By first-class mail by Friday, December 20
    • By priority mail by Saturday, December 21
    • By priority express local mail by Sunday, December 22

The Post Office and shipping companies saw long lines all day Monday -- traditionally one of their busiest days of the year.

"This is a very big day for us and we call it our busiest mailing day for holiday cards and packages," said Sabrina Todd, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service's Greater Michigan District. "A lot of [customers] are getting their last minute shopping in over the weekend so they're coming in, making sure their packages and cards and letters get sent to their loved ones for the holidays."

In all, the Postal Service is expecting approximately 420 million packages nationwide, constituting a 12 percent increase from last year.

The office in Lansing had a full staff working the counter in addition to workers shepherding incoming customers to self-service kiosks.

Todd says to ensure delivery by Christmas, it's important to mail things by this weekend. Using flat rate priority packaging can make things easy too.

"We also recommend that if you are going to mail packages, make sure that you properly prepare them," Todd said. "Pack them very very well so that there's no damage to them on the interior of the boxes."

At UPS in East Lansing, employees handled at least 100 packages in about five hours.

"We run a lot," said Peggy Lagrow, a manager. "It is a very busy day of packing and shipping."

Across the country, UPS is budgeting for 34 million packages Monday, 85 percent of which will be delivered Tuesday.

"Everyone's finally got all their packages together and wrapped," said Lagrown. "Christmas is next week so now they've gotta get them out and ready to go. I think that's probably the biggest reason [for the rush]."

The best advice, UPS and USPS say, is to get your parcels in the mail as soon as possible and be patient with workers as you wait in line.

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