Postal officials are urging Iowans to get their holiday cards, letters and gifts in the mail soon, because a major logjam is expected in just under two weeks. Richard Watkins, a spokesman for the U-S Postal Service in Iowa, says Monday, December 19th, is expected to be the busiest mail processing day of the year. Other deadlines are coming up as soon as this Saturday, if you want items delivered before Christmas. “Some of the mailing deadlines include December 10th for military mail to overseas bases other than Afghanistan — that deadline was last week,” Watkins says. “December 15th for parcel post, December 20th for First Class mail, December 21st for Priority Mail and December 22nd for Express Mail.”
The state’s largest mail processing center in Des Moines is expected to handle about a million pieces of mail on December 19th, up from around 400-thousand pieces on a typical Monday. If you’re sending off boxed gifts this month, he offers a few quick tips to get them there faster. “We recommend before shipping packages to remove batteries from toys and other electronic devices,” Watkins says. “Also, place a card inside the package that contains both the delivery and the return address. That insures the safe return of an item that couldn’t be delivered if the mailing label became damaged or fell off.”
The price of a stamp is also going up, but not until next month. Watkins says the cost of a first-class stamp is going up one penny to 45-cents, starting on January 22nd. He says those ‘Forever’ stamps are called that for a reason. Watkins says, “Customers who have purchased ‘Forever’ stamps in the past and have some in their drawers or tucked away in their offices, those will be good always, as you would expect, forever at the prevailing first-class rate.”
Find more mailing tips and information at: www.usps.com.