Time to think about Christmas mail

The Cayman Islands Postal Service has placed a chart listing its latest sending dates for various classes of mail in post office boxes and will do it again in the middle of November.

The deadline for surface mail to all countries except the United States and Canada will be 8 November.

The latest date to send surface mail to Canada and the US is 19 November. Air parcel deadlines are 19 November to United Kingdom and western Europe, and 26 November for all other countries except the US and Canada; air parcels can be sent to the US and Canada until 3 December. The latest recommended time to send Christmas cards, printed papers, letters and postcards by air mail to all overseas destinations is 10 December.

The chart also provides customers with latest dates for Express Mail packages and local mail and offers advice on Customs and on Christmas card etiquette.

Card sending tips

Make sure all the addresses you have are up to date.

Remember to use the correct postcode; it will help your mail get to the right place, faster.

If you’re unsure of a Cayman Islands postcode or how to properly address mail within the Cayman Islands, try using our postcode finder and addressing guide.

Always include a return address in the top left-hand corner of the envelope, just in case the letter can’t be delivered.

Make sure you use the correct postage for international mail or we will return it to you for additional postage.

If you use a coloured envelope remember to use a white label, because machines in other countries often kick out envelopes which cause delivery delays. Coloured handwritten envelopes are also hard to read manually when addressed in black or blue ink.

Don’t use bright-coloured labels like green or red; they will also cause delivery delays.

When you purchase your card that is probably the best time to drop by the post office and weigh it to ensure that you know the correct postage.

Save yourself holiday hassles by mailing early. Log on to the CIPS website for the latest recommended mailing dates.

Packaging tips

Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.

Package contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn is also good for cushioning and environmentally harmless; pack tightly to avoid shifting.

Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape, or fiberglass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape.

Placing an index card containing the sender’s and recipient’s addresses inside the package will help the CIPS and other postal administrations to repack boxes that were improperly wrapped and came apart during transporting and processing.

Remember that packages should not weigh more than 22 pounds and package dimensions should not exceed 42′ in length x 72′ length and girth combined.

Important dates to remember when sending packages and mail this holiday season are also on the Cayman Islands Postal Service website: www.caymanpost.gov.ky