Post Office advises public to mail early for Christmas

Post Office officials this week warned of impending deadlines for mailing Christmas packages to ensure on-time arrivals by late December. 

Citing four alternatives, officials said surface mail was the most economical method, but took eight weeks, the longest of the alternatives.  

To send packages to another Caribbean island, the deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 29. For the U.S. and Canada, the latest posting date is Tuesday, Nov. 5. The United Kingdom and Western Europe is Wednesday, Nov. 9. 

Post Office officials characterized airmail as “the most-popular posting method with a delivery time as quick as three days or it could take up to two weeks, depending on the location.” 

The deadline for the U.S., Canada, most Caribbean Islands, the U.K. and Western Europe is Tuesday, Dec. 10. For all other countries, the deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 4. 

An air parcel includes both tracking and economy, with a 2-pound package to the U.S. priced at $4 and requiring between two weeks and three weeks for delivery. 

“The deadline for all other countries is Friday, Nov. 15. For Canada, the U.S., most Caribbean islands, the United Kingdom and Western Europe, the deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 3,” officials said. 

Express Mail Service combines tracking and speed, if slightly higher charges. A 2-pound package to the U.S. costs $18 and takes between three days and five days for delivery. 

The deadline for the U.K. and Western Europe is Friday, Dec. 13. For the U.S. and Canada it is Monday, Dec. 16. For all other countries, the final day for guaranteed on-time delivery is Wednesday, Dec. 11. 

International security requirements, she said, required the Cayman Islands Postal Service to examine any letter, small packet, parcel or express mail weighing more than 16 ounces. Recent restrictions prohibit mail containing lithium batteries, including cell phones and laptops. 

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The Post Office service is advising residents to send their Christmas cards and gifts early to beat the seasonal rush. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT
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