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Postal Service Offers Holiday Mailing Tips for Hawai‘i

December 2, 2017, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated December 2, 11:46 AM
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The self-serve kiosk at Hilo’s main post office located on the road to Hilo International Airport.

The U.S. Postal Service has released a list of suggested holiday mailing dates for Hawai‘i residents to help packages arrive on time. All letters, cards and packages are recommended to be sent on the following dates to have the best chance of reaching their destinations by Christmas day. Note that these dates apply to the mail received by each Post Office’s daily cutoff time.

  • First-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations: Dec. 6;
  • First-class and Priority mail headed to the mainland: Dec. 15;
  • Priority Express shipping to mainland: Dec. 20.

The above mailing dates suggested by USPS are not deadlines, and do not mean packages or letters will not arrive on time if mailed after the listed dates. If normal holiday conditions prevail, USPS said letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will likely still make it to their destinations before Christmas. Ultimately, uncontrollable factors such as mailing volumes and weather will determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.

USPS also announced there will be no extended hours of operation at any Hawai‘i Post Offices this holiday season. Customers are encouraged to use 24-hour self-service kiosks, and online payment and pickup options at USPS.com. Postal kiosks allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage for packages, and complete other common transactions without standing in line to see a mail clerk. USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are available at the Hilo Main Post Office and Kailua-Kona Post Office on Hawai‘i Island.

The following tips are provided by USPS to help customers save time and money this holiday season:

  • Save money by shipping with Flat Rate Boxes: Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $13.60. The Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) costs $18.85 and features the tagline “Seasons Greetings from Hawai‘i” printed on the side. In support of U.S. military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for only $17.35.
  • Save time by going online: Pay for postage and print mailing labels at USPS.com. After printing the mailing labels, notify USPS at usps.com/pickup that they are ready to be picked up. The local carrier will be alerted and pick up packages from a home or office, usually by the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service. Prepaid packages may also be dropped off at a Post Office without waiting in line.
  • Free insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and free insurance.
  • Free packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes, including special “Seasons Greetings From Hawai‘i” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for free at local Post Offices.
  • Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Ask the local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for holiday shipments in your area.

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