Columbia postmaster, UPS store owner share tips ahead of package deadlines

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COLUMBIA - Shoppers who have not yet sent their holiday packages face important deadlines Thursday with USPS, UPS and FedEx.

Karla Rose, the postmaster in Columbia, said people should "hurry, hurry, hurry" if they want their packages to make it to the destination on time.

The postal service's recommended deadline for first-class mail, first-class packages and priority mail arriving in time for Christmas is Thursday, according to a news release. The release said the deadlines are "not a guarantee." 

Rose said common mistakes people make include using scotch tape to secure their packages, not having the correct addresses on the package and leaving out important information like apartment numbers. She said clerks are ready to guide people in the right direction.

"Make sure you have everything done in advance and make sure you're sure of the addresses," Rose said.

The postal service said it anticipates delivering more than 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

For packages shipped through UPS, Thursday is the last day to ship by second day air for packages to be delivered on Christmas Eve. The deadline to ship packages by UPS Next Day Air is Friday.

Jerrilyn Carey, the owner of the UPS Store on East Broadway in Columbia, said shoppers who want their packages delivered by Christmas must act quickly.

"Ship it out today [Thursday] by 6 o'clock and it will be there on Christmas Eve, guaranteed," Carey said. 

She said mistakes people make when shipping their packages are using a box that has already been used or using a box that is not sturdy enough to reach the destination. 

"Maybe it's a little bent or torn, and so in that case, we would offer to use a new box for them," Carey said.

She said a couple hundred people are coming through each day with all their packages. She said shes enjoys helping people get their packages sent.

"They've done all the shopping and the wrapping and then we get to be a part of that on the receiver's end," Carey said. 

For FedEx, the last day to ship packages by FedEx 2Day or FedEx 2Day A.M. is Thursday, according to senior communications specialist Davina Cole. The deadline to ship by FedEx Express is Friday. FedEx Express and FedEx Ground will not  deliver on Christmas Day.