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Shipping deadlines approach
Busiest time of year for postal service
Pack WEB 1
Julnita Griffin helps Graham Richardson on Wednesday at the Cumming Post Office. There’s still time to get those holiday packages out on time. - photo by Jim Dean

U.S. Post Office

Location: 525 Tribble Gap Road, Cumming

Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Note: Will close at noon Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

UPS Store

Location: 562 Lakeland Plaza, Cumming

Hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Note: Will close at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

There’s still time to get those holiday packages shipped to arrive in time for Christmas morning.  

Roland White, manager of customer service at the Cumming Post Office, said most packages need to be shipped by Dec. 20 to ensure arrival by Christmas.

“If you’re going to send it priority mail, you should send it no later than Dec. 20, and global express guaranteed mail no later than Dec. 17,” he said. “But you can send express mail all the way up to Dec. 22 and it’ll still get there.”

Those Christmas cards need to be mailed by Dec. 20, he added.  

David Wallace, owner of the UPS Store in Lakeland Plaza, said United Parcel Service has similar deadlines.

“You can ship something on Friday, Dec. 21, and if you just ship it overnight … it’ll get there on Monday, the 24th,” he said. “Even on Saturday, the 22nd, you could, but it would have to be real early on the 22nd.”

Both locations have seen a lot of business this week and expect even more next week.

“The Monday we just had and the one coming up are traditionally our busiest mailing days for packages,” White said. “It looks good as far as the packages coming in. There’s more packages than I’ve seen in three or four years or so.

“It looks like to me the economy’s recovering just fine.”

Sharon Miller, an employee at the UPS Store, said this week and next are probably the busiest of the year.

“[Customers] are waiting for me before I get here in the morning and it just stays steady all day,” she said. “Next week is going to be really, really busy.

“The rush usually starts on Dec. 10 and it creeps up more and more every day.”

Despite the crowds of holiday shippers, White said the post office has managed to keep wait times down.

“We’ve got every employee we have working in the window or lobby,” he said. “We’ve been timing our lines to try to maintain five minutes or less.

“And we’ve been pretty steadily at five minutes or less in our lines for the last week-and-a-half, two weeks.”

The UPS Store is fully staffed as well.

“We have to have three people all the time and usually we only have one or two,” Miller said. “But we’re not complaining, that’s for sure.”

White said the post office will maintain its regular hours through the season, with the exception of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when it will close at noon.

It’s closed all day Christmas and New Year’s Day, as will the UPS Store. It will be open until 2 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.