OGDEN -- Postal Service officials anticipate an especially busy few weeks as people rush to send packages and letters in time for Christmas.
"Right now, we're trending below the same period last year for the first 10 days of December," Robert Vunder, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service Salt Lake City, said Friday. "Come Monday, I think we're going to get hit really hard."
Vunder said that while it's hard to tell, he thinks the slow start to December may equal a busier rush over the next week or so as people try to send their packages in time for Christmas.
The Postal Service in Utah estimates nearly 2 million cards and packages will be mailed each of the next two Mondays -- Dec. 13 and 20 -- which are the busiest mailing days of the year.
For those who still have to send their holiday packages, Vunder said there are alternatives to avoid the long lines likely to fill local post offices.
"Go on the Internet," he said. "All of our services are Internet-friendly. They can do it over the weekend or after business hours."
By going online to usps.com, customers can create shipping labels with postage and schedule a free pick-up from their homes.
Automated Postal Centers, located in 30 post office lobbies across the Wasatch Front, also allow customers to send packages quicker -- and after business hours -- in an electronic kiosk-type fashion.
In Ogden, the APS systems are in the Ben Lomond and Mount Ogden offices. The offices in Layton, Roy and Logan also have the kiosks available.
Vunder said those who prefer traditional methods are best advised to avoid sending packages during lunch times and around 5 p.m. Those are the busiest times, he said, while it is slower around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.
Holiday mailing tips
- Cushion items with bubble wrap, newspapers or foam peanuts so they don't shift during transit.
- Mark packages "Fragile" in large print on the outside of the box when shipping materials that may be more likely to break.
- Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes. Don't use string, cellophane or masking tape to seal packages.
- Never guess a ZIP code. Find ZIP codes online at usps.com.
- Print addresses clearly. Include all address elements, including apartment numbers, suite numbers and directional information. Print a return address in the upper left corner.
Source: United States Postal Service