USPS shipping deadline for Christmas gifts fast approaching

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The holiday shipping rush is in full swing and employees at the post office have been working around the clock to get packages out on time.

Santa's helpers at the U.S. Postal Service have been hard at work.

From the North Pole to South Los Angeles, thousands are working overtime to make sure holiday packages make it to their destinations on time.

"Just keep in mind that next week is going to be the busiest week processing week of the year. Ship early," said Daniel Hirai, senior plant manager at the South L.A. processing center.

The South L.A. distribution center is the largest in the country.

More than 3,000 employees help to make the season bright by delivering millions of packages. They've got it down to a science.

U.S.P.S. delivers more than 28 million packages per day the week leading up to Christmas.

If you want your package to arrive before Christmas, here are the recommended send-by dates:
-USPS Retail Ground, Dec. 14

-First-Class Mail, Dec. 20
-Priority Mail, Dec. 21
-Priority Mail Express, Dec. 23

"I gave myself two weeks. That's better than I normally do. I'm usually coming in three to four days before and they're taking my wallet and I'm saying 'Whatever gets it there by tomorrow,'" said Daniella, U.S.P.S. customer.

Customers should expect lines to start getting longer as Christmas approaches, but a trip to the post office can be avoided.

U.S.P.S. expects nearly 400,000 customers will use their Click-N-Ship feature where you can order free boxes, print shipping labels, postage and request free next-day package pickup.
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