Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How To Mail Packages Faster

Why is it that some packages take weeks for the US Postal Service to deliver, while others arrive across the country in just a few days? The place of origin and the destination make a big difference in the delivery time, but there are a few easy things you can do as a sender that will help get your packages there faster.

Steps


(i) Use a sturdy box (or envelope) with packing or strapping tape on all the seams.If the envelope or box opens in transit, the Post Office will need to reassemble it, and it will take a lot longer.


(ii) Print your return address and the recipient's address.


(iii) Use the 9-digit ZIP Code. Go to USPS.com (http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp) and look up the recipient's address. The 9-digit ZIP specifies the exact address to which you are shipping, and can speed up the delivery time even if you use the less expensive mailing methods, such as Media Mail.


(iv) Cover the address with clear packing tape. That way, the address won't smear if it gets wet.

(v) Determine shipping speed. Find out how fast the various methods are estimated to arrive. Talk to a post office clerk about the shipping speeds and choose the option that meets your time and budget needs. Depending on what you are mailing, you could have the choice of Media Mail (for books and media, but don't add any personal notes or cards); Parcel Post (generally not enough of a savings to make it worth the long delivery time); First Class; Priority Mail; or Express Mail.


(vi) Get a Post Office mailing label.
  • Don't use stamps alone. Ask the Post Office clerk to print a postage label. If you want to put colorful postage stamps on the package, don't put the full amount of postage needed. If you did use enough stamps, the clerk can still print a label with no value; the bar-coded label will help route the package quicker.
  • If you go to a larger Post Office, they may have an automated kiosk where you enter the information into the computer and then use your credit or debit card to pay. Follow the instructions on the screen to purchase a postage label; then put the addressed and postage-paid package into the bin.
(vii) What's the drop-off deadline? Find out when the mail is picked up from your Post Office and keep that time in mind when you need to mail a package; in larger towns, other Post Office outlets may have later pick-up times. If your little neighborhood post office collects the mail at 5 pm, the big Post Office downtown may pick it up as at 6 pm, and it may be worth a drive downtown depending on how soon you need the package to arrive.

USPS hold mail

Spam mail

USPS address change

USPS tracking number


USPS office hours

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