HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The deadline for standard ground shipping on holiday packages is Tuesday. This will guarantee any cards or gifts will get to the intended destinations before December 25.
The United States Postal Service expects to deliver 15.5 billion cards, letters, and packages this holiday season, so to make sure your gifts arrive under the Christmas tree on time, you need to pay attention to these shipping deadlines.
The deadline on Tuesday for domestic ground shipping for standard packages is the line in the sand, especially for any mail headed to the West Coast. That's according to Frank Espinal, the owner of Ship-On-Site, a local shipping store off Bypass 17. Every day after Tuesday you risk the package not arriving before Christmas. Or you will need to pay probably more than what the gift is worth in order to ship it fast and guarantee the delivery date. But if you're making a shipment along the East Coast, you can still wait a little while, said Espinal.
"If you're shipping within the East Coast, usually you can get that to its destination within two days," said Espinal. "So, you know, if you're shipping on the 18th, you still have enough time."
But Espinal does suggest that as we get closer to Christmas, you might want to consider shipping with DHL, Fed Ex, or UPS. You might pay more, but you might have a better guarantee than the post office of getting it there on time.
Espinal says his store's shipping volume is up 75 percent from this same time last year, and he only expects things to get busier as we get closer to the holidays.
If you are concerned about a package being stolen or damaged, there are steps you can take to protect it.
"We can actually look for the closest Fed Ex location where we can drop that package off there," says Espinal. "And then they would have the ability to pick that package up within five days after it's delivered."
Another way to protect the package is to only allow it to be dropped off with a signature. So if someone isn't home to sign for it, the driver will leave a note and try two more times before sending the package back to the original sender.
And most carriers provide a declared value of $100 on a package. If you find that something was damaged during the shipping process, you need to contact the shipper directly. If you send it through Ship-On-Site, Espinal and his staff will actually process the claim for you.