Post Office asks customers to mail early

With the volumes of cards, letters and packages expected to balloon with the countdown to the holidays, Rockford Postmaster Ronald A. Calloway advises customers to mail early. “Our goal is to deliver increased holiday mail volumes at our normal year-round service levels to keep your holidays special,” says Calloway. “Although we have taken extra measures to handle the added volume, we are asking customers to mail early to avoid a backup of mail the last days before Christmas.”

U.S. Postal Service customers will bring nearly 20 billion mailpieces to Post Offices during the holiday season.

Postmaster Calloway said that customers can help speed Post Office transactions by providing retail clerks with full information on packages, such as requirements for insurance, Delivery ConfirmationTM and desired time for package arrival.

Other helpful mailing tips to avoid glitches include:

u Write, type or print the delivery address neatly.

u Always use a return address.

u Always use complete address information such as AVE, BLVD and ST. Use the apartment or suite number as well as correct directionals, such as N, W and SW.

u Don’t let an incorrect ZIP CodeTM delay delivery of cards and letters. Local Post Offices and the Postal ServiceTM Web site——offer ZIP Code information. There is also a toll-free number 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

u Avoid placing bulky items such as photographs, keys, coins, rings, etc. in greeting card or letter-size envelopes as these items could be damaged in automated processing.

u Select a container that’s strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.

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

• Plain air-popped popcorn, shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts work well for cushioning package contents.

u The only addresses on packages for mailing should be the delivery and return addresses. Tip: Place a return address label inside the package.

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

u Packages that weigh at least one pound must be taken into the Post Office for mailing.

u Access the Postal Service’s Web site——to obtain Click-N-ShipTM easy-to-use online shipping labels. Customers can print and pay for labels with postage using a credit card, PC and printer. Customers can calculate rates, find ZIP Codes, validate and save addresses, and print labels without postage—all in one convenient location.

u When writing to Santa, be sure to use a return address. Santa may write back. Also, when writing Santa, please don’t place any cookies for Santa or hay for his reindeer in the letter. This can foul mail sorting equipment and delay delivery.

“The holidays are here, and we want to make sure your mail flies like an eagle and is delivered on time. Just help us by mailing early,” Calloway said.

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