KAILUA-KONA — Time is ticking down for Hawaii residents to get their letters, cards and packages in the mail to give them the best chance of reaching their destinations by Christmas.
The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages for a total of nearly 16 billion deliveries this holiday season.
With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping, according to the postal service. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas.
Starting the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest, when nearly three billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.
The Postal Service recommends First-Class Mail and Priority Mail headed to international and overseas military destinations be sent by Dec. 6. First-Class and Priority mail headed to the mainland should be mailed no later than Dec. 17.
Procrastinators have until Dec. 20 to send their holiday mail to the mainland via USPS’ Priority Express shipping service.
Shipping within the islands? You have until Dec. 21 to get First-Class and Priority mail sent and till Dec. 22 if sending via Priority Express.
Those sending gifts/cards to family and friends in Guam or Saipan should get First-Class and Priority mail items to the post office no later than Dec. 13. Those shipping Priority Express have until Dec. 19.
The USPS suggests items being sent to American Samoa be mailed via First-Class or Priority mail by Dec. 6 or Priority Express by Dec. 14.
Only one Hawaii post office will provide extended retail hours this year — the Honolulu Main Post Office, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 16.