BOISE — The busiest two mailing and delivery weeks of the year are here -- and Idaho Post Office workers are gearing up to handle for the literal avalanche of cards and packages.
“We plan all year for the holidays,” said USPS District Manager Mike Mirides.
To prepare for the record season, the USPS has hired more than 125 employees, now delivers packages seven days a week – so you may see postal trucks in your neighborhood, even on Sundays, has expanded delivery windows for package to include early mornings and evenings, has extended retail hours at eight southern Idaho Post Offices every Saturday before Christmas to make shipping those packages more convenient, and also offers so-called “dutch-door” package pick up service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday before Christmas -- for customers picking up notified mail or packages.
The Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week until Christmas.
“This holiday season is expected to be a record-breaker for packages, with Postal Service carriers delivering more than 900 million holiday packages nationwide, a five percent increase from last year. A similar increase is expected in southern Idaho where, during the holidays, more than 3 million packages are forecast,” according to a USPS media release.
Here are some mailing tips from the Postal Service:
--Ship packages from home for the holidays at usps.com and request a free package pick-up.
--Use self-service kiosks which allow customers to buy stamps, and mail cards and packages 24/7, using debit or credit cards. Kiosks are located in the lobby of nine southern Idaho Post Offices, six in the Boise area: the Boise Main Post Office, the Boise Cole Village Station, the Boise Five Mile Station, the Caldwell Main post office, and locations in Meridian and Nampa. Kiosks are also in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Pocatello.
Holiday Military Shipping Deadlines are:
-Dec. 4 for Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to Military addresses in Iraq and Afghanistan
-Dec. 11 for Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to all other Military addresses
-Dec. 18 for USPS Priority Mail Express to Military Addresses (except Iraq and Afghanistan)
International Shipping Deadlines are:
-Dec. 8 for Priority Mail International to all other countries
-Dec. 15 for Priority Mail Express International to Africa, Central and South America
-Dec. 18 to 20 for Global Express Guaranteed depending on country
Domestic Shipping Deadlines are:
-Dec. 14 for USPS Retail Ground
-Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail and packages
-Dec. 20 for Priority Mail
-Dec. 22 for Priority Mail Express
The eight southern Idaho Post Offices listed below now offer extended retail hours every Saturday before Christmas (The same locations will also open a “dutch-door” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday before Christmas for customers wanting to pick up notified mail or packages which couldn’t be delivered on the first attempt. The only exception is in Nampa, where “dutch-door” Sunday packages will be available at the Nampa Carrier Annex at 820 N. Park Centre Way, and not the Nampa Post Office.)
-Boise Main Post Office at 770 S. 13th St. is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Boise Five Mile Post Office at 1350 S. Five Mile Rd. is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Boise Overland Post Office at 1650 W. Targee St. is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (It’s normally not open on Saturdays)
-Caldwell Post Office at 832 Arthur St. is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-Meridian Post Office at 1200 N. Main St. is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-Nampa Post Office at 123 11th Ave. is open from 10 am to 2 p.m. (Sunday “dutch-door” service is available at the carrier annex)
-Pocatello Main Post Office at 730 E. Clark St. is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
-and the Twin Falls Pioneer Post Office at 1376 Fillmore St. is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional information -- including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines -- can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.