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U.S. Postal Service Readies for Holiday Returns with Improved Flat-Rate Priority Mail Shipping and Free Package Pickup

Holiday Season Surges Ahead with Double Digit Percent Jump in Shipping Volume

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/-- Holiday returns — an annual rite for millions of gift receivers that starts the day after Christmas — are easy with U.S. Postal Service.The improved shipping products and services from the Postal Service offer the easiest, most stress-free solution for returning gifts after the holidays.

"This is the first holiday season that consumers and businesses were able to take advantage of the recently revamped Priority Mail, which now comes with free insurance, day-specific delivery and free tracking," said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer. "With our low-cost flat-rate shipping product — which has no additional surcharges — the Postal Service anticipates customers will use these easy return options this holiday season."

Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes take the added hassle out of trying to determine the cost of shipping, with low flat-rate prices. Customers can pack their items in Priority Mail packaging available free at Post Offices. Or, they can order free Priority Mail packing supplies through usps.com and the Postal Service will deliver them — also free of charge.

For the busy shipping season, the Postal Service exceeded holiday volume expectations with a higher than projected package volume increase — a double-digit jump over same period last year. The week before Christmas, the Postal Service delivered nearly 90 million packages with a daily average of 10 million per day for the holiday season. It handled more than 75,000 packages on Christmas Day.

After closely monitoring mail volume early in December, the Postal Service adjusted its network and delivery schedule accordingly and delivered packages on three Sundays in December — the 8th, 15th and 22nd in high-volume markets.

"Our employees take great pride in delivering for our customers, particularly during the busy holiday season," said Megan Brennan, chief operating officer. "With our improved shipping products and services, we offer a hassle-free solution for returns"  

Merchants can choose from Priority Mail Returns Service, First-Class Package Return Service or Ground Return Service to help their customers make returns easier. Business customers will appreciate the convenience and value of USPS Returns by choosing from several innovative and streamlined services sure to give the company and its customers the most efficient returns possible. 

Customers also save money on all Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping products when using Click-N-Ship to print postage for returns. And when the package is ready for shipping, they can go to usps.com/pickup to schedule free package pickups from the home or office.

The Postal Service's "Returns" national television commercial shows how to take the stress out of returns in just 30 seconds. With a simple click, print and ship, USPS makes returning unwanted gifts easy.

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

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With more than 31,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private-sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for seven years and the fifth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

Follow the Postal Service on twitter.com/USPS and at facebook.com/USPS.

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service

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