2022 was another challenging yet exciting year for the United States Postal Service. With the passing of the Postal Reform Act, there are several benefits for the business’s operational and financial outlook. However, there are a lot of questions and discussions surrounding the impact on in-home timings and daily processing volumes. At the peak of the holiday season, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen extended delivery timelines due to the sheer volume of holiday cards, packages, and catalogs.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick the holiday season into gear. According to e-commerce sites, “USPS is usually the first choice of e-commerce companies for small package deliveries. This is mainly due to the cheap rates and vast delivery regions it offers.” As a result, package delivery becomes a high priority for USPS during the holiday season. In recent years, retailers have shifted back to sending catalogs. Big names such as Amazon, Target, and Crate and Barrel schedule their pieces to land in-home the week after Thanksgiving for the last big holiday push. And it’s not just retailers filling our mailboxes – consumers enjoy sending their family and friends holiday greetings via mail. Holiday greeting cards account for about 61% of all cards sold annually. For our clients who mail during the holiday season, we typically recommend adding a few extra days for delivery or, if budget allows, mailing via First Class Mail.
In the non-peak season, the USPS processes and delivers 425.3 million mail pieces daily. During the holiday season, which starts after Thanksgiving and continues through the end of the year, the USPS delivers around 15 billion pieces of mail and 800 million packages. In addition, we see an influx of returns via parcel during the post-holiday season. In 2022, USPS actively hired about 28,000 seasonal workers, but even with a surge in holiday hiring, USPS is finding it hard to fill open positions. Winter storms, labor shortages, and an increased volume of parcels and mail complete the trifecta to stress the USPS operational systems.
There are also several federal holidays that the USPS is closed for business. As we head into 2023, here’s a list of USPS holidays to consider in your direct mail timelines:
- Monday, January 2nd (New Year’s Day)
- Monday, January 16th (Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday)
- Monday, February 20th (Presidents’ Day)
- Monday, May 29th (Memorial Day)
- Monday, June 19th (Juneteenth)
- Monday, July 4th (Independence Day)
- Monday, September 4th (Labor Day)
- Monday, October 9th (Columbus Day)
- Saturday, November 11th (Veterans Day)
- Thursday, November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day)
- Monday, December 25th (Christmas Day)
Offline and paid marketing teams can work around most USPS seasonal slowdowns with some planning. If you want to learn more about how to plan your next mailing campaign, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Candice Sampson
Source: USPS, Greeting Card Association