Hawaii Holiday Mailing Dates and Shipping Tips

Hawaii-Specific Holiday Mailing Dates, Extended Postal Hours and Mailing Tips

(Honolulu) Time is nearing fast to get those holiday packages out in the mail. The Postal Service is happy to help its customers and has put out a list of suggested mailing dates, extended hours and mailing tips for the busy holiday season.

Suggested Mailing Dates

Below are the dates that the Postal Service suggests Hawaii residents mail their letters, cards and packages to give them the best chances of reaching their destinations by Christmas. Note that the dates apply to the mail received by each Post Office's daily cutoff time.

The suggested mailing dates are Dec. 10 for first-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations, and Dec. 17 for First-Class and Priority Mail headed to the mainland. Procrastinators have until Dec. 22 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via our expedited Express Mail service.

From Hawaii to:

U.S. Mainland
First-Class & Priority Mail: Dec 17
Express: Dec 22

First-Class & Priority Mail: Dec 21
Express: Dec 23

Guam & Saipan
First-Class & Priority Mail: Dec 16
Express: Dec 20

American Samoa
First-Class & Priority Mail: Dec 9
Express: Dec 18

Military APOs & FPOs Dec 10 Dec 16*
International*** Dec 10 Dec 16**

Dates apply to mail received by each Post Office's cutoff time.

* Express Mail military service available to selected military Post Offices. Some Express Mail destinations may have extended service commitments. Check with your local Post Office to determine availability.

** Express Mail international service is available to 190 countries, with delivery in an average of 3-5 business days.

*** Africa and Central America: Send First Class/Priority Mail by Dec.1 and Express Mail by Dec. 10.

Postal customers are asked to keep in mind that the above suggested mailing dates are not deadlines, implying that packages or letters will not arrive at their destinations if mailed after the listed dates. In fact, if normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas. Ultimately, uncontrollable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.

Extended Holiday Hours

• From Dec. 11 to 20, selected Post Offices across Oahu will extend their hours of operation to accommodate the increased holiday mail volume.

• Postal personnel will be on hand to assist customers at all 18 Post Offices with Automated Postal Center kiosks (see next paragraph for locations) one hour before those offices open and one hour after they close.

• Two Post Offices--Ala Moana and Airport (Honolulu)--will even be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 12.

• The list of local offices with extended hours follows. Customers can call 1-800-ASK-USPS or go to USPS.com and click on "Locate a Post Office" in the tool bar to determine specific hours of operation of these and other Post Offices.

Post Office Extended Hours

December 11-18
Airport (Honolulu)
Ala Moana

December 20
Airport (Honolulu)
Ala Moana

Automated Postal Centers

The self-service Automated Postal Centers (APCs) allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage for packages, and conduct other common transactions without the need to stand in line to see a mail clerk--an all-too-frequent necessity during holiday mailing season. Perhaps most important, customers can access the APCs 24/7, at times that are convenient to them. The Hawaii APCs are located outside or in the service lobbies of the 18 Post Offices below:

Aina Haina
Ala Moana
Hawaii Kai
Hilo Main Office

Mailing Tips

Here are some time- and money-saving tips to help make the holidays a little brighter:

• Save $$$ with FLAT RATE BOXES: Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are the best deal around. Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $10.70. An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $14.50, and features the tagline "Seasons Greetings from Hawaii" printed on its side. And, to support our military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to APO and FPO locations for only $12.50.

• Save $$$ with ONLINE DISCOUNTS: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at USPS.com and save up to 14 percent off of over-the-counter rates and receive FREE Delivery Confirmation. Discounted rates are available for Priority, Express and International mailings. Examples: Discounted Medium Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $10.20; Large Flat Rate Boxes sent domestically are $13.95; military APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Boxes are $11.95.

• FREE package pickup: Skip the trip to the Post Office during the holidays. After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at USPS.com, notify us at usps.com/pickup that they're ready to be picked up. Your carrier will be alerted and will pick up your packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service.

• FREE packaging: Priority Mail and Express Mail envelopes and packages, including Flat Rate boxes, are available for FREE at your local Post Office.

Mail Volume

The Postal Service expects to deliver 15.8 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, with the busiest mailing days anticipated to be Dec. 13 and 20. USPS has printed 3.3 billion holiday stamps this year. They will be made available to the 97 million customers who visit Post Offices during the holidays, as well as those who order them online. Many of these stamps will be used on an average of 559 million mail pieces processed daily during the holidays.

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.