Tips for a Simpler Shipping Season

“The Postal Service is making it simpler to ship packages to family and friends this season with Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, Click-N-Ship and free package pickup,” says Steve Forte, senior vice president, Operations. “And proper addressing and packaging will help us give every gift the service it deserves.”

Save money on Priority Mail and Express Mail prices when mailing online with Click-N-Ship. And when the package is ready, go to usps.com/pickup to schedule free package pickup. The Postal Service offers free, environmentally friendly Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes and envelopes. Free supplies can be ordered at usps.com or picked up at a local Post Office.

The Postal Service also offers pre-packaged shipping products, ReadyPost, sold at local Post Offices for customers needing sturdy, secure boxes and envelopes.

Helpful packaging tips:

• Make sure packages can withstand processing without the contents or box breaking.

• Cushion items with bubble wrap and foam peanuts so they do not shift during transit.

• Wrap each item separately when packing more than one item in the same box.

• Remove batteries from electronic devices and wrap separately.

• Use new boxes when possible. When reusing a box make sure previous labels and markings are covered before mailing.

Place an extra address label with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

• Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes. Do not use string, cellophane or masking tape to seal packages.

• Packages can weigh up to 70 lbs. and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and width. Make sure the width is measured around the largest point of the package.

Guidelines for addressing envelopes and packages:

• Print complete address clearly, using a delivery and return address on the same side.

• A complete address includes:

• The recipient’s name

• Post Office Box or street number

• Street name with suffix (AVE., ST, LN, etc.) and directional (N, E, S, W)

• Secondary address (apartment or suite number)

• City, state and 5-digit ZIP Code (use the proper ZIP Code. ZIP Codes can be found at usps.com or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS. Never guess. No ZIP Code is better than a wrong ZIP Code.

The Postal Service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure your gift arrives on time:

Dec. 15 — Parcel Post

Dec. 20 — First-Class Mail

Dec. 21 — Priority Mail, the best bargain in shipping

Dec. 22 — Express Mail

For assistance or questions please contact Krystal Barnes, Postmaster, 200 N. High St.

California, MO 65018-9998, 573-796-4401 or krystal.j.barnes@usps.gov.

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