Ship right after you shop to avoid holiday hassles

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - It's just four days away, the busiest shipping day of the year.

Meaning time is ticking if you want your packages and Christmas cards to make it to the mailbox before December 25th.    

The key is to ship right after you shop, even though neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will stop the U.S. Postal service from delivering your mail.

Amarillo Post Master James Chambers says, "When there is a big storm, if we can't get the flight out, because a lot of our priority first class goes by air, we'll put it on a truck. So 90% of the time, we're going to get it here."

But once the holiday season hits, you shouldn't take that for granted.

On an average day, the Amarillo mail processing plant handles about 50,000 packages and 100,000 letters. Once the month of December rolls around, that number climbs to about 200,000 packages and 200,000 letters. On December 12th, the busiest shipping day of the year, that number jumps to about 400,000 packages and 300,000 letters.

So don't wait, until it's too late. December 20th is the last day for First Class mail, December 21st for Priority, and December 22nd for Express.

If it's Fed-Ex making your deliveries, the dates are a little different.

Keith Moore with Fed-Ex explains, "Keep in mind, December 16th is the last day to ship Ground to get it to your destination before Christmas and December 23rd is the last day to ship it Express to have it in time for the holiday."

Here are a few deadlines to remember if it's UPS you're depending on: for 3 Day Select mail by December 20th, for 2nd Day Air December 22nd, and for Next Day Air December 23rd.

They will deliver on Christmas Eve, but Saturday fees apply.

Shane Martin with UPS says, "That's going to be all of our Next Day Air packages that are scheduled for Saturday. Anything not delivered on Saturday for Next Day Air, that comes in on Friday per se, will not be delivered until Tuesday."

UPS is gearing up for the holiday rush by extending store hours starting next week. They will be open from 1 to 5 on Sunday, December 18th and will offer a shipping discount.

You can avoid shipping fees altogether next Friday, December 16th with free online shipping day.