Strategies To Survive Shipping Season

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Santa has flying reindeer to help deliver his bounty around the globe. Payson has PostNet Postal & Business Services and the U.S. Postal Service both of which can help deliver your cards and parcels on time this holiday season.

To help you make it a season of holidays without hassles, follow their guidelines, mailing and shipping tips and, perhaps most important, their deadlines.

PostNet

PostNet owner Don Lee's first holiday mailing tip is, "Shop early, especially for gifts you're planning to ship. The closer to the holidays your packages leave, the higher the shipment expense will be. Shipping via surface transportation costs the least, and next-day air costs the most."

Not all shipping options are alike, said Lee, who tells his customers to determine which services can be tracked and insured.

Within the United States, he said, recommended shipping deadlines are Dec. 15 for priority and first-class, Dec. 13 for United States Parcel Service ground shipments and Dec. 21 for various UPS and Federal Express air shipments.

PostNet Postal & Business Services is at 217 E. Highway 260 in the Safeway Shopping Center. For more information, call 472-4355

United States Postal Service

Although virtually all of the U.S. post office's official deadlines for guaranteed delivery before Christmas have passed, Payson Postmaster Kathy Almendarez said, "That doesn't mean your mail and packages won't arrive on time. It just means that they might not. The sooner you mail them, obviously, the greater the chances are that they will arrive before Christmas."

Since the post office's most common deadline for most overseas and military deliveries is Dec. 11 Monday those who rush to the post office ASAP still have a chance to have their Christmas parcels delivered in a timely fashion.

Domestic deadlines

The post office's suggested domestic mailing deadlines are:

Parcel post Up to Dec. 10

Priority mail Up to Dec. 18

Express mail Week of Christmas

International deadlines

Suggested international mailing deadlines:

Africa Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 4. Surface: Too late.

Asia/Pacific Rim Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Australia/New Zealand Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Canada Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 15. Surface: Too late.

Caribbean Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Central and South America Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 4. Surface: Too late.

Europe Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Mexico Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Middle East Air letters/cards and air parcel post: Dec. 11. Surface: Too late.

Military mail

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-098 1st-Class letters/cards and priority: Dec. 11. All others: Too late.

APO/FPO AA ZIPs 340 1st-Class letters/cards and priority: Dec. 11. All others: Too late.

APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966 1st-Class letters/cards and priority: Dec. 11. All others: Too late.

Addressing tips

Write, type, or print the complete address neatly.

Always use a complete return address.

Always use complete address information, such as: avenue, boulevard, and street. Always use the apartment or suite number.

Always use correct directionals such as N, W, and SW.

Don't let an incorrect zip code delay delivery of cards and letters. Local post offices and the Postal Service Web site (www.usps.com) offer zip code information.

Packaging tips

Select a box that's strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.

Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam peanuts.

Carefully pack glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage due to shock. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box.

The only addresses on packages for mailing should be the delivery and return addresses. Tip: Include the address information on an index card, inside the package.

Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape.

Packages displaying postage stamps and weighing 1 pound or more must be taken to the post office for mailing.

Special tips

Purchase convenient packaging materials, including boxes and padding materials, at your local post office. Express mail and priority mail boxes, envelopes, and tubes are free.

Avoid waiting in line for holiday stamps by buying holiday stamps by phone at (800) STAMP-24, online at The Postal Store, or stamps from postal vending machines.

For those traditional domestic procrastinators, the post office offers priority mail, which gets packages to their destinations in two days to most major areas. The cost is $3.20 for up to 2 pounds. For $11.75, the post office also has express mail service that gets mail to most major cities overnight.

You may purchase insurance coverage for protection against loss or damage. You should not insure packages for more than their actual value. Your local post office can assist you with insurance options and fees.

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