If you want your packages to arrive on time for the holidays you should ship them ASAP

USPS warns things will get worse before they get better

Help Me Hank takes a look at shipping delays and the issues it’s causing.

The Help Me Hank team has been tracking supply issues ranging from empty shelves to parents having trouble finding much-desired holiday toys.

According to data from the U.S. Postal Service, earlier this year 78% of first class mail was delivered on time. That’s way below past years.

Many are worried about holiday packages making their way to loved ones in time for the holidays. Local 4 has been tracking postal problems for more than a year and the postal service has warned that things will get worse before they get better.

USPS said to expect a slow down in service and also a rate increase through the holiday season. The first deadline comes on Dec. 15. That’s the latest date you’ll want to use ground service to places in the United States. Dec. 17 is the deadline for first class mail service and packages. Dec. 18 is the deadline for priority mail service and Dec. 23 is the deadline for priority mail express.

USPS said it will be busiest the two weeks before Christmas. Mail issues have become a battle and Michigan representatives and even the attorney general are searching for solutions

The best thing you can do to ensure your packages arrive on time is to mail them as early as possible. Track everything. Keep a log of when you’re missing mail. Report it to the USPS and make your way into your local post office to speak to the manager and share your concerns.

Beyond a worker shortage, the other big issue is financial. The USPS is losing money and the new Postmaster General is rolling out a new 10-year plan to get balanced. That means rising costs and new changes in delivery expectations. That means things will simply take longer.

The USPS isn’t the only option to ship those holiday packages. FedEx and UPS both offer key information online about shipping deadlines. Amazon is using its own fleet of planes to transport goods as soon as possible.

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About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.