Shipping deadlines arrive |

Shipping deadlines arrive

Nick Coltrain
Shannon Litz / Nevada AppealDave Stebbins sorts packages at the Carson City Post Office on Roop Street on Saturday morning.

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Today is slated as the busiest mailing day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service.

And is it any surprise? Today is also the last day to ship first-class mail domestically and get it to its destination by Christmas.

After wandering out of the post office on Roop Street Monday afternoon, Carson City’s Barbara Patrouch said she usually shoots for about Dec. 12 as the time to get all the goodies sent out. But her reason for braving the post office so close to the deadline was out of necessity: She was sending home-baked cookies to her father in Idaho.

“I had to spend a little extra to make sure it got there in time, but that’s all right,” Patrouch said.

She said it took her about 15 minutes to navigate through the automated shipping kiosk and waiting in line might have even been quicker. At about 2:15 p.m. Monday afternoon, 30 people were queued up. A few minutes later, it looked shorter by about half a dozen.

“I thought the line would be a little worse,” she said.

USPS spokesman David Rupert had one bit of advice for people more daunted by the lines than Patrouch: “don’t be.”

He pointed out the automated system that Patrouch used as often having fewer people waiting than the tellers. He also noted that people now can print postage at home and bypass the brick-and-mortar building all together. He also encouraged last-minute shippers not to rely 100 percent on the USPS-provided cutoffs – the snow and ice storm that hit the Great Plains on Monday could disrupt expected arrival dates.

Upcoming USPS shipping deadlines for Christmas

Today: First-class domestic mail and Global Express Guaranteed for: Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East.

Wednesday: Priority domestic mail, Global Express Guaranteed for: Canada and Mexico.

Thursday: Express domestic mail and DDU drop ship domestic mail.

Quick facts about the 2011 holidays

• 16.5 billion pieces of mail will be shipped (up 8 percent over last year)

• 30 million pounds of mail will be bound for military installations

• 589 million pieces of mail will be shipped, on average, per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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