WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s that time of year with the holiday season approaching and guidance from the U.S. Postal Service on important deadlines for shipping packages.

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office addresses:

n Nov. 6 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service

n Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

n Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services

n Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service

n Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service

n Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)

n Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

n Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service

n Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express service

The Postal Services notes that dates are not a delivery guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply.

For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

While holiday shopping is going to be different this year for many reasons, one thing hasn’t changed. The Postal Service still has its busiest time, which starts two weeks before Christmas. Beginning the week of Dec. 7, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 14 to 21 predicted to be the busiest week for mailing, shipping and delivery.

Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. Visit usps.com.

The Postal Service anticipates Dec. 14 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 13 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping holiday gifts. The website is always open.

It’s estimated nearly 500,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 14 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.

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