By Pat Warren

‘Tis the season to ship. Millions of packages are moving around the country for delivery in time for Christmas.

Pat Warren reports with tips for mailing gifts.

Next to tax time, this is probably the busiest time you’ll see at the post office. Not only that, FedEx is setting a record Monday.

It’s the second busiest day for the U.S. Postal Service.

With the busiest day yet to come, Chris Petro figured he’d beat the rush.

“I’m flying out next week,” said Petro. “So, I’m just shipping it so it’s out there and I don’t have to carry on luggage on the plane.”

For FedEx, Monday is a record-breaker, due in large part to the success of Cyber Monday—the Internet equivalent of Black Friday.

“We’ve added extra trucks, we’ve added extra employees to handle the volume and make sure all those Christmas gifts get to where they need to go,” said Paul Millinger.

It’s FedEx and the post office working as a relay team that accounts for much of the handling of this early volume.

“FedEx Ground will pick up all those packages and what we’ll do is we’ll sort them and we’ll deliver them to the destination post office that is closest,” Millinger said.  “And the post office will take it from there.”

Both carriers recommend doing as much as you can to make your own holiday shipping experience easier.

“The first thing I would suggest is that you try going online on,” said John Budzynski, Baltimore Postmaster. “There’s a wealth of information there for you. You’ll be able to get rates, zip codes, mailing dates–all the information you need to be successful. In addition to that, you can order your  boxes online if you  like. If you like to do priority mail, you can order your boxes online and they’ll get shipped right to your house. In addition, you can also print out your postage and mailing statement labels. And you can even schedule a pickup. So, you really don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. If you want to do it all online, that’s what we really suggest our customers to do.”

And for the record, the trip to the post office didn’t seem so bad Monday either.

“It’s been nice and smooth. Everybody’s been nice and attentive. They offered us a cart when we walked in the door,” said one customer. “It’s nice to get a jump on things early.”

Dec. 20 is the cutoff day to make sure your first-class mail arrives by Christmas.


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