MILLEDGEVILLE — Millions of care packages are being shipped around the world this week just in time to arrive in the hands of recipients on Christmas Day.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS), The UPS Store and FedEx employees encourage last-minute shippers to send their packages to friends and families soon as possible.
When packing items, UPS suggests the removal of batteries from electronics, using packing materials to protect gifts and including a label inside of the package with both the destination and return addresses.
UPS expects to deliver more than 135 million packages around the world, culminating with 28 million deliveries on Thursday — the busiest shipping day of the holiday season.
Andy Patel, owner of The UPS Store in Milledgeville, recommends all shipments be mailed out by 5 p.m. Wednesday at the local The UPS Store to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve if shippers wish to use the least inexpensive service. Last-minute shippers can also use the UPS Next Day Air service Friday to also ensure delivery by Friday, Dec. 24.
Located in the old Kroger Shopping Center, The UPS Store’s holiday hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Monday marked the busiest day for the post office’s mailing day for holiday cards and packages, as more than 658 million pieces of mail were processed — compared to 538 million on an average day.
Wednesday is the busiest day for the delivery of holiday mail and Thursday for holiday packages. In all, nearly 18 billion cards, letters and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
The USPS has issued the following recommended mail-by dates to ensure all packages arrive by its intended date during the busy season:
• Thursday - First Class Mail
• Friday - Priority Mail
• Saturday - Express Mail
Customers are urged to use complete mailing addresses on holiday mail, including apartment numbers, directional indicators and zip codes.
The post office in downtown Milledgeville will operate under regular hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The Milledgeville post office is open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve with shortened lobby hours and close on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in observance of the holidays.
As an authorized FedEx shipping center, the local Ship Or Sell store also provides customers another avenue for mailing letters and packages to domestic and international locations. The FedEx Express Saver service can be used today for guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve.
The holiday service schedule for packages shipped via FedEx guaranteed to arrive by Christmas is:
• Thursday - FedEx 2-Day
• Saturday - FedEx First, Priority and Standard Overnight
Ship Or Sell is located on Log Cabin Road near Kroger and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
OfficeMax is another local contracted station for FedEx drop-offs.
The FedEx Company experienced the busiest day in company history Monday, Dec. 10 when 19 million packages moved through the FedEx networks.
For more information, specific shipping dates, or packaging tips, visit www.usps.com, www.ups.com, or www.fedex.com.
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