Maui Business

Hawaiʻi Holiday Suggested Mailing Dates

December 3, 2015, 4:34 PM HST
* Updated December 4, 3:45 PM
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Forever Stamps, 2015 holiday sheets. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Forever Stamps, 2015 holiday sheets. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Now that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping rush has passed, Hawaiʻi residents can now turn their attention to Christmas shopping and shipping. The Postal Service has released its annual suggested holiday mailing dates specific to Hawaiʻi, news on extended holiday services, information about convenient self-service options, and holiday mailing tips.

Suggested Mailing Dates

Below are the dates that the Postal Service suggests Hawaiʻi 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 Postal Service’s suggested mailing dates are Dec. 8 for first-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations, and Dec. 19 for First-Class and Priority Mail headed to the mainland. Procrastinators have until Dec. 20 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via expedited Priority Express shipping service.

  First-Class & Priority Express
From Hawaii to . . . Priority Mail Mail
US Mainland Dec 18 Dec 21
Hawaiʻi Dec 22 Dec 23
Guam & Saipan Dec 14 Dec 19
American Samoa Dec 9 Dec 17
Military APOs & FPOs  Dec 7 Dec 14
International  Dec 7 Dec 14

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

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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, the Postal Service says 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.

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Christmas Eve Hours Shortened:

Most Post Offices in Hawaiʻi will be closing their retail lobbies at noon on Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec. 24, 2015. Regular mail delivery will not be affected by these retail operation changes. Revised hours will be posted at each affected Post Office; commercial customers are asked to check with their bulk mail entry units for specific information regarding their holiday hours of operation.

  • The exceptions to the noon closures on Christmas Eves are:  The ʻĀina Haina, Mōʻiliʻili, MOU 1 and MOU 3 Post Offices will maintain their usual hours of operation on Dec. 24.
  • The following offices will close a few hours earlier than usual on Dec. 24, at times other than noon: Honolulu Main Post Office (closing at 2 p.m.); Nānākuli (2 p.m.); Pukalani (12:30 p.m.); Uptown (11:30 a.m.); and Waikiki (1 p.m.).
  • The Fort Shafter and Tripler Post Offices will be closed all day on Dec. 24. These offices do not provide delivery service.

Post Offices Closed on Christmas and New Years Day:

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Post Offices will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Only Priority Mail Express will be delivered on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. All Post Offices will be open and regular mail delivery will resume Dec. 26, 2015 and Jan. 2, 2016.

No Extended Retail Hours This Year

The Postal Service will not be extending its hours of operation at any of its Hawaiʻi Post Offices this holiday season. Instead, they are encouraging customers to take advantage of the 24-hour self-service kiosks and the online payment and pickup options at USPS.com.

Self Service Ship & Mail Centers

These convenient postal kiosks 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. Perhaps most important, customers can access the Self Service Ship & Mail Centers 24/7, at times that are convenient to them.

USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are located in Hawaiʻi outside or in the service lobbies of the 16 Post Offices below, in addition to one located inside the Safeway on Kapahulu Avenue on Oʻahu:

ʻĀina Haina; Airport – 2 kiosks; Ala Moana; Downtown; Hawaiʻi Kai; Hilo Main Office; Kailua; Kailua-Kona; Kaneʻohe; Kīhei; Lahaina; Makiki; Mililani; Waiʻalae-Kahala; Waikiki; and Wailuku.

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 $12.65. An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50% more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $17.90, and features the tagline “Seasons Greetings from Hawaiʻi” printed on its side. And, to support military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for only $15.90.
  • Save time; USE USPS.com & SKIP THE TRIP TO THE POST OFFICE: Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at USPS.com. After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at USPS.com, notify usps.com/pickup that they’re ready to be picked up. Your carrier will be alerted and will pick up packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service. You can also drop off your prepaid packages at a Post Office without waiting in line.
  • FREE insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and FREE insurance.
  • FREE packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes, including special “Seasons Greetings From Hawaiʻi” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for FREE at local Post Offices.
  • Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major US metropolitan areas. Ask your local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for your holiday packages.

New This Year – Animated Mail Boxes

During the holidays, customers across the nation can bring USPS mailboxes to life with augmented reality holiday animations. All they have to do is to download the “USPS AR” app—available at iTunes or Google Play—and then scan the USPS logo on any blue mail box with that app. The boxes feature a changing lineup of holiday animations and messages, including Peanuts characters from Dec. 14 to 17. When someone stands next to the box, he or she will be surrounded by the animation. The app can also be used to order stamps and boxes and schedule pickups from the Postal Service.

By the Numbers: 15.5 Billion Pieces of Mail Expected

  • The Postal Service expects to process and deliver approximately 15.5 billion pieces of mail and 600 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That projected holiday package volume is an increase of 10% over last year.
  • During this holiday period, the average number of mail pieces processed daily increases from 506 to 536 million pieces. On its busiest processing day that number will increase to 612 million.
  • The busiest mailing day locally is anticipated to be Monday, Dec. 14. The busiest mailing day nationally is anticipated to be Monday, Dec. 21.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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