Christmas shipping rush

Deadlines approaching for packages to arrive on time

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Evy and Dan Bryant, right, drop off a package at the Marietta post office with Denise Myers, on Tuesday.

Though the post office is closed today for a day of mourning in the wake of Former President George H.W. Bush’s death Friday, deadlines are fast approaching to send gifts out of town this holiday season.

“We are scrambling to get parcels out today,” noted Postmaster Julie Pepper at the Marietta post office on Front Street. “I’m seeing some 7,000 parcels a day going out.”

She said as the holiday season ramps up they’re seeing more Amazon trucks coming in.

“Sometimes two or three in the morning,” Pepper noted. “Plus we’re doing early morning and early evening parcel runs in addition to your regular mail so even if you’ve already gotten your mail that day you still might be getting a package.”

Those coming into the building continue in a steady flow, too, she said.

“We’re trying to get you through the line in five minutes,” Pepper continued. “That’s our goal so anybody in line that doesn’t have a payment I’m periodically going out to the desk and asking for to help them through the line faster.”

On Tuesday, after wrapping up Christmas shopping for their grandchildren, Evy and Dan Bryant, of Marietta, sent off a package.

“You should see our rec room,” laughed Dan. “There are boxes everywhere right now.”

The pair has grandchildren in Cleveland and family in Texas they’ve been shopping for and wanted to get exchanges in before the holiday deadlines flood the post office with too many mailers.

“Now’s the task of matching the receipts with the right clothes, but the task before was getting those bigger gifts and the right sizes in clothes,” said Evy.

The U.S. Postal Service guarantees regular retail ground shipping to arrive by Christmas only if shipped by Dec. 14, while leaving a little longer (Dec. 20) for First Class and Priority Mail and for final shipments with Priority Mail Express on Dec. 22.

Meanwhile, FedEx guarantees shipments to arrive before Christmas with FedEx SmartPost shipped by Monday, Home Delivery and Ground by Dec. 17, Express Saver by Dec. 19, FedEx 2Day by Dec. 20, Standard Overnight and Priority Overnight by Dec. 21.

And UPS will deliver through Christmas Eve, but only packages shipped by Dec. 20 with UPS 2nd Day Air and Shipped with UPS Next Day Air on Dec. 21.

“People normally come in on their lunch break and after they get off of work,” said Katy Gee, who is in her third holiday season at the Marietta UPS store. “The last week they really come in more though, around the 15th it’s all ages coming in trying to get that sent out.”

Early and Final Deadlines for arrival by Christmas:

• U.S. Postal Service:

• Ground Shipping: Dec. 14.

• Priority Mail Express: Dec. 22.

• FedEx:

• Home Delivery and Ground: Dec. 17.

• Standard and Priority Overnight: Dec. 21.

• UPS:

• UPS 3 Day: Dec. 18.

• UPS Next Day Air: Dec. 21.

Source: Times research.