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Deadlines loom this week for holiday shipping, Post Office warns

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The U.S. Postal Service is warning customers they’re almost out of time to get Christmas cards and packages in the mail.

This is expected to be the busiest week of the year for the mail service, which advises that all first-class letters and packages be postmarked by Friday in order to be delivered by Dec. 25. Thursday is the last day to send holiday shipments to military and diplomatic post offices.

The postal service says the deadlines are recommendations and actual delivery dates may vary, with the exception of Priority Mail Express, which guarantees delivery within two business days.

Some post offices are also offering extended retail hours, including offices on Struck and Milwaukee streets in Madison as well as Monona and Sun Prairie.

The post office says it’s been preparing since January for the holiday peak, converting more than 41,000 part-time workers to full-time employees, hiring 20,000 seasonal workers, adding 10.5 million square feet for package processing, including 23 temporary sites.

Sunday delivery has been expanded in certain areas, though carriers already deliver packages on Sunday in most major cities.

As part of a 10-year plan to improve service and profitability, the post office says it has added 249 processing machines since 2021, helping increase capacity to 60 million packages a day.

For a complete list of domestic, international and military shipping deadlines, visit usps.com/holidaynews. The Postal Service also provides tips in a series of short how-to videos on its YouTube channel.

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(c) 2022 The Wisconsin State Journal

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