Post Office offers tips for busy holiday shipping season - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Post Office offers tips for busy holiday shipping season

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's not even December 1st and yes, boxes and cards are already leaving the islands. And the lines at the post offices are short, for now.

"I've got some coffee and chocolates and it's gonna go all over the place...New York, Arizona and California," said AJ Dejesus, who was dropping off several boxes after printing postage online.

The U.S. Postal Service estimates that 18 billion pieces of mail will be handled between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with Hawaii shipping the most flat rate boxes in the country, many marked with a special Seasons Greeting with Aloha message. All that shipping can mean holiday headaches for procrastinators.

So here are the dates to remember - December 10, 18, and 20th. These are the suggested deadlines for Priority and First Class Mail to be sent internationally and for Military APO's and FPOs, to the mainland and within Hawaii. Express Mail options extend to December 15, 20, and 22nd respectively for those destinations. Priority and First Class deadlines for Guam and Saipan are Dec. 14 and American Samoa on Dec. 13. Express mail suggested deadlines for Guam and Saipan is Dec. 20, and for American Samoa is Dec. 19th.

But if you want to avoid those long lines inside the Post Office altogether, you can visit one of the 18 self-service postal Kiosks at post offices across the state. It'll weigh your packages, and you can print out your shipping labels by using a touch screen. You can also just order some stamps.

But even kiosks can get busy if you wait too long. So better yet, said officials, go online to print discounted postage for your flat rate boxes.

"You can go www.usps.com for our Click and Ship service said U.S.P.S. spokeswoman, Alona Esquilla. "That one, you just need a printer and go ahead and print out the postage and tape it on top of the box and skip the line. Just drop it off the same day, and we have designated areas to drop off the parcels, or you can have a carrier pick it up the next day free."

And there's some extra cheer for you: two Sunday deliveries are coming on December 16th and 23rd. The Honolulu Airport Post Office will also be open Sunday, Dec. 16, for your mailing needs between Noon and 5 p.m.

Happy shipping...