holidays - postalnews blog


In wake of Christmas fiasco, UPS could charge more for late holiday orders

ups_logoUPS may have ruined Christmas for many of its customers by failing to deliver Christmas presents on time, but analysts expect the company to make adjustments in its operations to avoid a recurrence. While some of the changes will involve better planning and operational adjustments, the company may also decide to charge more for shipping last minute Christmas orders. That’s the view of Benjamin Hartford, an analyst with Baird Equity Research, as reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Hartford also expects UPS to…  look at changing the way it prices shipping during peak periods in a way that could cost procrastinating shoppers more.

The goal, Hartford said, would be to smooth out orders in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas….

The way to do that is to charge more for late orders during peak periods like the holidays, to incentivize customers to place their orders earlier.

Read more: UPS expected to recover from holiday snafu |

PMG thanks employees for “banner” holiday season

From USPOS News Link:

Preliminary figures from the just-concluded holiday shipping season indicate USPS — and its customers — enjoyed a banner holiday season.

During the period Dec. 1-25, USPS processed 19 percent more packages than during the same period in 2012. Almost every day during that period, the Postal Service processed higher numbers of parcels than on the corresponding day during last year’s holiday shipping season.

“I want to especially thank our employees across the country,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “They made this holiday season a special time to remember for our customers. Major customers told me they were pleased with the levels of high service they received from our employees. The dedication and resolve of our employees is commendable and helps to justify the trust our customers have in our ability to deliver.”

Several news organizations posted stories about USPS employees who braved harsh winter conditions and worked through the weekend of Dec. 21-22 and on Christmas Day to deliver heavier-than-ever volumes of packages. St. Petersburg, FL Letter Carrier Michael FitzGerald told ABC News, “A lot more stuff, a lot more, almost everything is [Priority Mail] now.”

FitzGerald was heartened by his customers’ reaction for his work delivering mail and parcels the Sunday before Dec. 25 and on Christmas Day. “It’s always gratifying,” he said. “It’s nice to see how happy our customers looked.”

With Christmas Day comes the advent of the holiday returns season. Returns feature flat rates using Priority Mail flat rate boxes, free package pickup, online label printing, tracking, and more.

Business customers can use Priority Mail Returns Service, First-Class Package Return Service, or Ground Return Service to help their customers make returns easier. The website has more information.

“We want to finish the season by successfully processing the returns we receive,” said Donahoe. “I’m confident we’ll give our customers the same high levels of service we delivered earlier this month.”

Read more: USPS News Link Story – ‘A special time to remember’.

Video: USPS ‘Santa’ makes surprise deliveries on Christmas morning


One postal worker has his own tradition on Christmas, picking up Santa’s unfinished work.

Dallas News |

Lyndon Huston has been a United States Postal Service worker for the past 15 years. And he said he’s been volunteering to deliver Express Mail on Christmas morning about as long.

He even goes the extra mile with a Santa suit, beard and the requisite greeting.

He said he does it for reactions like these.

Read more: USPS ‘Santa’ makes surprise deliveries on Christmas morning – Dallas News |

Package theft plagues holidays

The US Postal Service says during the holidays it delivers three times the amount of packages it usually does. And when boxes are left unattended on doorsteps they become prime targets for thieves.

Diana Figueroa had expensive audio equipment for her boyfriend stolen right off her porch.

“I get there and there’s no package at the side door… and so he calls UPS and they tell us, well, it’s not our problem, people follow the trucks around all the time especially around the holidays,” she said.

ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Read more: Package theft plagues holidays – ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather.

Video: Postal workers become Santa’s helpers

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — Postal workers are making special deliveries to South Florida families who write letters to Santa Claus.

WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miam Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

All letters are answered by Santa Claus himself, addressing them, “Dear Little Friend.” The Deerfield Beach U.S. Post Office has had a very busy month, wrapping gifts for boys and girls. “We went out yesterday and gave out the toys, and the kids were very thrilled,” said mail carrier Tangerean Davis.

Read more: WSVN-TV – Postal workers become Santa’s helpers.

Video: Postal Service works on Sunday to clear holiday backlog

DALLAS — For the first time ever, post offices in Dallas, Forth Worth, and Arlington were open and processing mail on a Sunday.

Monday is traditionally the busiest day of the holiday shipping season, with people trying to get those cards and presents delivered in time for Christmas.

"Holidays are always heavy, so this way everyone wins — not only for our customers, but it relieves stress on the postal workers as well," said Postal Service spokesman Skyron Marshall. "So it’s a win-win situation for everybody."

Read more: Postal Service works on Sunday to clear holiday backlog | Austin.

US post offices will have shortened hours, early collections on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve

santamailmanWASHINGTON — Post Offices nationwide will be open Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24, and New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31. Most Post Offices will shorten retail lobby hours and close at noon on these dates. Regular mail delivery will be unaffected by the change.

Revised hours will be posted at each Post Office and commercial customers are asked to check with their business mail entry units for specific information regarding holiday hours of operation.

Blue collection boxes having final collection times before 12 p.m. will not be affected by these changes. However, collection boxes with final collection times scheduled after that may be collected early. Therefore, mail should be deposited into these mailboxes by 12 p.m. for early pickup Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Customers requiring postal services later on those days are encouraged to contact their local Post Office. Customers also may call 1.800.ASK.USPS for additional information.

Areas where Post Offices may have different hours from this schedule will issue local media announcements specific to their locations.

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 and Jan. 2.

For the most up-to-date holiday information, go to: There you’ll find holiday mailing and shipping deadlines, packing tips and information about Letters to Santa. Information is also included about all of the Postal Service’s holiday forever stamps, including Christmas: Holy Family Stamp, Christmas: Virgin and Child by Jan Gossaert, Eid Stamp, Gingerbread Houses, Global Evergreen Wreath International Stamp, Hanukkah Stamp, Kwanzaa Stamp and Poinsettia Stamps.

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

USPS seeks employees to appear in holiday commercials

From USPS News Link:

USPS is looking for a few enthusiastic employees to appear in an ad for this year’s holiday advertising campaign.

commercialLike the ad currently appearing across the country, the new commercial also will feature employees as the cornerstone of USPS.

All are welcome to audition for this year’s holiday commercial, which will feature employees singing a unique version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The Postal Service says most of the roles in the new ad call for carriers. But employees from other parts of the organization also may have opportunities to appear in the commercial.

No prior singing experience or talent required. But personality, according to USPS marketing managers, is a prerequisite.

Applicants must email a video of themselves (waist up) singing a short rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas to Include your name, city and state of your work location and contact information in the email. Be sure to also include your manager’s contact information.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 12 p.m. EST. Applicants must receive approval from their managers prior to their selection and production of the commercial.


USPS to Sell 2011 White House Christmas Ornament

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Postal Service has teamed with one of the nation’s leading companies producing decorative and commercial products to sell the 2011 White House Holiday Ornament at approximately 7,000 Post Offices across the country.

ChemArt of Lincoln, RI, has been the sole manufacturer of the annual White House Christmas ornament since the program inception in 1981, and was given exclusive retail distribution rights by the White House Historical Association. ChemArt and the association are proud to present the 36th ornament in the association’s series, which recalls the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, his wife Edith and the couple’s young family when they called the White House home from 1901 until 1909.

"We anticipate that the ornament will be very popular — especially among collectors," said Steven Mills, manager, USPS Retail Products. "Our vast retail presence will enable the product to reach a broader audience than ever before."

The 2011 White House Holiday Christmas Ornament is now available at select Post Offices until Christmas Day for $24.99.

Also, under a licensing agreement, ChemArt will manufacture and sell holiday ornaments in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Postal Service’s Letters to Santa program. In 2013, under the agreement, ChemArt will introduce licensed Holiday ornaments based on more than 50 years of Postal Service holiday stamp images.

"All of the ornaments will be made in the USA and will be sold in Post Offices and commercial retail channels," said Gary Thuro, manager, USPS Licensing. "We are pleased to bring quality products to our customers and generate revenue for the Postal Service."

Customers can view an image of the collectible envelope on Facebook at

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

For 30 years, ChemArt has served as the premiere designer and manufacturer of photo-chemically etched decorative ornaments and collectibles in the United States. Since its inception in 1976, ChemArt has been a fully integrated company combining multiple technologies – etching, plating, screen printing – under one roof to control the quality of the decorative and commercial products they make. Their designers develop custom products for decoration and industry; and take pride in the fact that they are 100% handmade in America. Whether as a thank you gift, fundraising vehicle, precision part or commemorative piece, ChemArt understands what it means to have heart at the core of your organization.

via United States Postal Service to Sell 2011 White House Ornament — WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –.

USPS Partnership Drives Record FedEx Holiday Volume

FedEx expects December 12 to be the busiest day in the company’s history, with over 17 million shipments. The company projects a ten percent increase from a year ago, driven by its SmartPost product, which uses the US Postal Service to deliver the shipments to customers’ homes:

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 24, 2011 – FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) expects to move more than 17 million shipments – almost double its daily average volume – through its global networks on December 12, the projected busiest day in company history. The 10 percent year-over-year increase will be driven by FedEx SmartPost, a residential shipping service designed for online and catalog retailers, as well as expected increased volume at FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FedEx forecasts more than 260 million shipments to move through its worldwide shipping networks. This is a 12 percent increase for the holiday season over last year when 232 million shipments were processed.

“As e-commerce continues to grow and demand increases with more customers shopping and conducting their business online, FedEx SmartPost is poised to handle the increase in shipments,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp. “More than 290,000 FedEx team members also stand ready to deliver the holidays and enable commerce around the globe.”

Retail inventory such as apparel, personal consumer electronics and luxury goods as well as books and other items from large, internet retailers will account for a large portion of FedEx holiday volumes.

FedEx will increase its workforce by approximately 20,000 with seasonal positions to help handle the surge in holiday shipments at FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost.

The impact of the expected higher volumes was included in the company’s earnings guidance issued in September.

The Holiday Retail Outlook

Holiday sales are expected to grow 2.8 percent during November and December to $465.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This is higher than the average increase of 2.6 percent over the last ten years.

The NRF also reports that nearly half of shoppers (46.7%) will buy online as compared to 43.9% in 2010. According to eMarketer, holiday online shopping will increase by 12 percent during the 2011 season.

Poised for E-commerce . . . FedEx SmartPost

The FedEx SmartPost network is designed for online retailers and cataloguers who ship high volumes of low-weight shipments to residential customers. FedEx SmartPost has an integrated national network that picks up, sorts and delivers packages directly to U.S. Postal Service facilities for final delivery to residences.

The service continues to experience significant growth. As reported in first quarter earnings ended August 31, FedEx SmartPost average daily volume increased 29 percent due to growth in e-commerce and gains in market share.