Shipping tips for Postal Service's busiest day

LOS ANGELES The /*U.S. Postal Service*/ is expected to process 830 million pieces of mail as people try to get cards and gifts out in time for Christmas. That's 40 percent more than a typical day for the Postal Service.

/*FedEx*/ said Monday is also the busiest day of the year for its package delivery service. FedEx will deliver about 13 million shipments on Monday, which is nearly double the normal number.

"You still have a lot of time to mail," said Richard Maher, an Orange County-based spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Customers have to do their part to ensure that gifts arrive at the proper destination in good shape. The Postal Service offered these tips:

  • Choose box with room for cushioning material
  • If reusing box, cover previous labels and markings
  • Seal box with clear or brown packing tape, reinforce seams
  • Use complete and correct mailing address

If you want your packages to arrive by Christmas, the recommended mail-by dates for things shipped in the U.S. are:

  • Parcel post: Dec. 16
  • First-class and priority mail: Dec. 21
  • Express mail: Dec. 23

Some customers at the Postal Service's airport station near Los Angeles International Airport didn't realize that several critical mailing deadlines are just days away.

"I didn't really know that they put out deadlines," said customer Leslie White.

Officials said many people are using online services this year and avoiding the big lines.

Betty McCoy said she wasn't about to miss the mailing deadline. She has a granddaughter to pamper.

"I have 10 days now? I'm getting them out good. Like I said, 'G-momma's sending it,'" she said.

If you can't make those deadlines, you may be hand-delivering those presents.

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