LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Postal Carriers have already delivered 15 percent or 330,000 more packages this holiday season than they did the same time last year. Postal Carriers in the Cornhusker State are on pace to deliver a record 4.5 million packages for the holidays. Nationwide, a record 850 million packages are projected to be delivered during the holidays.
The Postal Service, which delivers more online orders to residences than anyone, is expanding delivery hours to handle the peak season's volume, with packages delivered early in the morning, evening and on Sundays.
"We have planned for this holiday season all year long and have flexed our network and expanded delivery hours to accommodate the increased volume," said Lincoln Postmaster Kerry Kowalski. "We are delivering packages seven days a week in larger cities and smaller cities where volumes merit. Our carriers are also making early morning and evening deliveries. Our goal is to provide outstanding service to our customers and ensure all those holiday cards and packages are delivered on time."
For those who still haven't mailed those cards and packages, the Lincoln Main Post Office at 700 R St. will open its retail windows from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 for customer convenience.
Other Nebraska postal locations with Sunday retail hours on Dec. 17 for customer convenience:
Elkhorn Post Office, 20284 Wirt St. - Noon to 4 p.m.
Fremont Post Office, 348 E. 6th St. - Noon to 4 p.m.
Kearney Post Office, 2401 E Ave. - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
McCook Post Office, 411 W. 3rd St. - Noon to 4 p.m.
Norfolk Post Office, 1100 S. Pine Industrial Rd. - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Omaha Main Post Office, 1124 Pacific St. - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Omaha Postal Impressions, 5436 S. 136th St. - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Scottsbluff Post Office, 112 W. 20th St. - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kowalski shared some shipping tips sure to take some of the hustle and bustle out of the holidays:
Use the 24/7 Post Office in Your Home - Our customers likely already have a 24/7 Post Office inside their home or business at usps.com. We encourage our customers to ship their holiday packages from the comfort of home using Click-N-Ship at usps.com. We'll even come to your door to pick up your packages for free.
Use 24/7 Self Service Kiosks - located in the lobby of four Post Offices in Lincoln: Main Post Office, Indian Village, College View and Gateway.
Use Informed Delivery - The USPS offers a new service this year called Informed Delivery, which allows users to interact with their incoming mail and packages in one convenient, online location. Customers can sign up for free at informeddelivery.com to see what packages are in route and to receive daily emails showing what mail will be delivered.
With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a 'busiest day' for holiday shipping. The week of Dec. 18-24 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week when the USPS expects to process and deliver more than 3 billion cards, letters and packages. More than 180 million packages are expected to be delivered during the busiest week - roughly 26 million packages each day.
Monday, Dec. 18, is expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year in the state. Fully-staffed Post Offices will greet customers, and postal managers will be in lobbies on Dec. 18 to answer questions and provide assistance.
"The holidays are a busy and rewarding time for our employees as they work around the clock for their customers to ensure all holiday cards and packages are processed and delivered on-time," said Kowalski.
Holiday packages to most military addresses should be in the mail by Dec. 16 using Priority Mail Express Military Service. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the USPS offers a $1.50 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes.
For international destinations, customers have until Dec. 18 to Dec. 21 depending on the country when using Global Express Guaranteed Service.
Suggested mail-by dates for cards and packages destined for U.S. addresses are:
Dec. 14 - Retail Ground
Dec. 19 - First-Class Mail
Dec. 20 for Priority Mail
Dec. 22 for Priority Mail Express.
Go online to usps.com/holiday to find ZIP Codes, helpful mailing tips, holiday shipping dates and more.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.