MIAMI (CBSMiami) - If you finished your Christmas shopping over the weekend and planned to get your holiday cards in the mail today, join the crowd.
The U.S. Post Office said Monday was their busiest mailing day of the year and busiest pickup day of the year for package delivery services.
"It's the time of the year we look forward to the most when we connect families and friends living in different parts of the country and the world" said Debbie Fetterly with the US Postal Service.
On average, the Postal Service processes 528 million pieces of mail every day. During the holiday season, that volume increases to 545 million pieces of mail daily. They expect to process about 607 million pieces of mail on December 16th.
The USPS expects to help more than six million customers nationwide, with another six million doing their shopping and shipping online.
Postal officials recommend that customers use usps.com to avoid crowds by buying and printing postage online and scheduling package pick-ups.
There are some important deadlines you need to know if you want your gifts to arrive by Christmas Eve.
USPS Mailing Deadlines:
- Tuesday, Dec. 17: Military Service
- Friday, Dec. 20: First Class Mail
- Saturday, Dec. 21: Priority Mail
- Monday Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express
UPS Shipping Deadlines:
- Tuesday, Dec. 17: Ground
- Thursday, Dec. 19: 3-Day Select
- Friday, Dec. 20: 2nd-Day Air to arrive by Dec. 24
- Saturday, Dec. 21: Pickup service provided for regular Saturday pickup customers of air and international shipments, or if prearranged by Friday, Dec. 20. Last day to ship UPS 2nd Day Air to arrive by Dec. 24.
- Monday, Dec. 23: Next-Day Air delivered Dec. 24.
FedEx Shipping Deadlines:
- Tuesday, Dec. 17: Ground and Home Delivery
- Saturday, Dec. 21: 2-Day
- Monday, Dec. 23: Standard and Priority Overnight
- Monday, Dec. 23: First Overnight
- Wednesday, Dec. 25: Same Day
- Pick a strong and sturdy box, and tape it closed tightly
- Cushion contents to protect them during transportation , and wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material.
- Place wrapped gift boxes inside a plain larger box.
- Remove all batteries from electronics.
- Remember to place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.
- Print addresses clearly and in CAPS.
- Include complete 'to' and 'from' info.
- Check usps.com for the correct ZIP Code never guess.
- Be sure to label a box as 'FRAGILE' if it needs to be handled with extra care.
- Visit usps.com to pay and print postage and schedule a pickup, or drop off your gift for delivery at the Post Office.
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