Holiday shipping deadlines for post offices begins Monday statewide

Owner Judy Redmond boxes up Christmas gifts to be shipped Friday at the UPS Store in the Pine Grove Plaza Shopping Center. (Jeffrey Smith | Times Herald)

Owner Judy Redmond boxes up Christmas gifts to be shipped Friday at the UPS Store in the Pine Grove Plaza Shopping Center. (Jeffrey Smith | Times Herald)

By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald

Shopping for loved ones is no easy task. Getting those gifts to them in time for the holidays can be even harder.

With the holidays just around the corner, shippers and postal workers say packages should be ready to go as soon as possible.

Judy Redmond, owner of the UPS Store at 2014 Holland Ave., Port Huron, said the earlier a package is shipped, the better chance it has of making it to its destination in time for Christmas.

“Ground is no longer guaranteed on a particular day,” Redmond said. “It all depends on how far it is shipped because of the high volume and how much they are willing to spend.”

She said residents should think ahead by at least six business days. Packages intended for California, Washington and some parts of Colorado take at least five business days to reach those respective states.

“You should ship it by Dec. 16 (Tuesday) at the latest,” she said. “The 15th (Monday) will be the busiest shipping day of the year because all those people know they have to get here. People’s patterns are they shop on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then ship on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Redmond said not to wrap packages in brown paper or other wrappings, as the shipping label could be torn off; and don’t wrap a package in string or duct tape that could be caught in a conveyor belt. She said use clear shipping tape — or employees at the UPS Store can help package the parcel properly.

“When they box and pack it, they need two inches of cushioning on each side,” Redmond said. “Paper and wadded up grocery bags are not going to cut it. Use bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts. Double- or triple-wrap it if it is fragile.”

Postmaster Robert Wagenaar at the U.S. Postal Service office, 852 32nd St., Port Huron Township, had a few suggestions for residents who have not shipped their Christmas gifts yet:

“The key to holiday shipping is being prepared and starting early,” Wagenaar said. “This is our season, and we are ready to deliver. Our knowledgeable employees are here to help customers ensure their holiday packages are packed, tracked and delivered with ease.”

In addition to 2014 holiday stamps, the post office also is offering Priority Mail boxes and packaging items such as bubble mailers, mailing cartons, bubble wrap and packing tape.

Clyde Township resident Pat McCabe knows the routine at the post office.

“I just sent a package to my cousin in England, so that’s already on its way,” McCabe said. “I sent it in the first part of December, and it takes about 10 days to get there. I’m always early — that would be the latest I would ever wait.”

For three times a year for the past 10 years, McCabe and her cousin have exchanged gifts.

“You never know what might happen with it going that far,” McCabe said. “It costs like $80 to send it out on the post office’s flat rate. They used to be able to send it by ship, but then you would have to send it in much earlier.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 12, 2014)

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