USPS Offers Suggested Holiday Shipping Dates

Now that everyone has survived the mad Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping rushes, Hawai`i residents’ thoughts will soon turn to shipping.

The United States Postal Service has announced suggested holiday mailing dates specific to Hawai`i, news on extended holiday services, information about convenient self-service options, and holiday mailing tips.

Suggested Mailing Dates

Below are the dates that the Postal Service suggests Hawai`i residents mail their letters, cards and packages to give them the best chances of reaching their destinations by Christmas. Note that the dates apply to the mail received by each Post Office’s daily cutoff time.

  •  December 6 for first-class and Priority mail headed to international and overseas military destinations
  •  December 17 for First-Class and Priority mail headed to the mainland.

USPS officials say procrastinators have until December 20 to send their holiday cheer to the mainland via its expedited Priority Express shipping service.

Dates apply to mail received by each Post Office’s cutoff time.

Postal customers are asked to keep in mind that the above suggested mailing dates are not deadlines, implying that packages or letters will not arrive at their destinations if mailed after the listed dates. In fact, if normal holiday conditions prevail, chances are good that letters and packages sent shortly after the suggested dates will still make it to their destinations before Christmas. Ultimately, unpredictable factors such as mailing volumes and weather determine whether deliveries can be made early or on time.

Extended Retail Hours – One Office, One Day

No neighbor island post offices will provide extended retail hours. The only location is at the Honolulu Main Post office near the airport which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 16.

Self Service Ship & Mail Centers

The postal kiosks allow customers to purchase stamps, print and pay for postage for packages, and conduct other common transactions without the need to stand in line to see a mail clerk. Perhaps most important, customers can access the Self Service Ship & Mail Centers 24/7, at times that are convenient to them.

USPS Self Service Ship & Mail Centers are located in Hawaii at the 16 locations below (in alphabetical statewide):

  • Aina Haina Post Office
  • Downtown Honolulu Post Office
  • Hawaii Kai Post Office
  • Hilo Main Post Office
  • Honolulu Main/Airport Post Office – 2 kiosks
  • Kailua Post Office
  • Kailua-Kona Post Office
  • Kaneohe Post Office
  • Kapahulu Safeway supermarket
  • Kihei Post Office
  • Lahaina Post Office
  • Makiki Post Office
  • Mililani Post Office
  • Waialae-Kahala Post Office
  • Waikiki Post Office
  • Wailuku Post Office

Mailing Tips

USPS has offered the following time and money saving tips to help make the holidays a little brighter:

  • Save money with Flat Rate Boxes: Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes are the best deal around. Customers can send up to 70 pounds in Medium Flat Rate Boxes to domestic locations for only $13.65 An even better deal is the Large Flat Rate Box, which holds 50 percent more (with the same 70-pound limit) for only $18.90, and features the tagline “Seasons Greetings from Hawaii” printed on its side. And, to support our military troops overseas, up to 70 pounds can be shipped in the military Large Flat Rate Box to most APO and FPO locations for only $17.40.
  • Save time by using Pay for your postage and print out your mailing label at After printing out the mailing labels for your packages at, notify USPS  that they’re ready to be picked up. Your carrier will be alerted and will pick up your packages from your home or office, usually the next business day. There is no extra charge for this service. You can also drop off your prepaid packages at a Post Office without waiting in line.
  • Free insurance: All Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes now include day-specific delivery, improved tracking and free insurance.
  • Free packaging: Priority Mail and Priority Express envelopes and boxes, including a limited supply of special “Seasons Greetings From Hawaii” large Flat Rate boxes, are available for FREE at your local Post Office.
  • Express Mail on Christmas Day: The Postal Service delivers Express Mail on Christmas Day in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Ask your local postal clerk to determine whether this option is available for your holiday packages.

By the Numbers – Nationwide

  • The Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 16 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day this year.
  • The week of December  17 through December 23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. More than 2 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered that week.
  • Nearly 200 million packages will be delivered during the busiest week—that works out to about 29 million packages delivered a day.
  • Nearly 105 million customers will visit between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
  • More than 3 million customers are expected to use USPS’s Click-N-Ship online application during the holidays to pay for postage and print out their shipping labels from the convenience of their homes or offices.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.