U.S. Postal Service tips for a simpler shipping season

“The Postal Service is making it simpler to ship packages to family and friends this season with Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, Click-N-Ship and free package pickup,” says Kim Yates. Communications Programs Specialist with the U.S. Postal Service, Greater Indiana District. “And proper addressing and packaging will help us give every gift the service it deserves.”

Save money on Priority Mail and Express Mail prices when mailing online with Click-N-Ship at usps.com/clicknship. And when the package is ready to be shipped, go to usps.com/pickup to schedule free package pickup from home or office. Skip the trip to the Post Office and do all holiday shipping online.

The Postal Service offers free, environmentally friendly Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes and envelopes. These supplies can be ordered at usps.com or picked up at a local Post Office at no charge. “The best shipping value is our Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes,” says Yates. “No calculating postage or weighing packages is needed. If it fits, it ships, for one low rate.”

The Postal Service also offers pre-packed shipping products, ReadyPost, sold at local Post Offices for customers needing sturdy, secure boxes and envelopes.

Helpful packaging tips:

* Make sure packages can withstand processing without the contents or box breaking.

* Cushion items with bubble wrap and foam peanuts so they do not shift during transit.

* Wrap each item separately when packing more than one item in the same box.

* Remove batteries from electronic devices and wrap separately.

* Use new boxes when possible. When reusing a box make sure previous labels and markings are covered before mailing.

* Place an extra address label with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

* Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes. Do not use string, cellophane or masking tape to seal packages.

* Packages can weigh up to 70 lbs. and measure up to 30 inches in combined length and width. Make sure the width is measured around the largest point of the package.

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