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Shipping: woman preparing package for shipping

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Shipping holiday gifts to relatives in 2020? Get organized early

If you’re shipping presents to loved ones, and you want them there on time, you need to send them off extra early this year.

For starters, the postal service is a lot slower now. You know that chart  that comes out every year, with the recommended last date to mail things to arrive by December 25?

Those are dates that would have worked last year, says Diana Naramore, owner of Sip and Ship, a Ballard and Greenwood based business that combines a café and shop with a shipping service.

Because of the slowdown of the postal service, you should allow an extra week for domestic mail to get there, Naramore says. For parcels going first-class by domestic mail, that means Dec. 8 instead of Dec. 15, as a general rule (some areas have slower mail than others).


Closed borders mean mail delays

International mail has to go through increasingly closed international borders, which slows it down more. The Postal Service chart recommends Dec. 7 as a deadline. Not so, says Naramore.

“By Thanksgiving, international should be on its way already,” she says. That includes Canada, even British Columbia.

“All packages are being scrutinized now at the border,” Naramore.

By the way, this is not the time to send your cousin in Calgary a box of hand-me-down baby clothes. “Anything used is not being allowed to enter,” Naramore says.

The delays affect everyone. Amazon tells customers shipping to international destinations to expect delays.

Naramore cautions that just as mailing times have changed all year, they could change again by the holidays.

“It’s changing all the time. That’s what I know today.”


Other stories:

Celebrations in the time of cornavirus: families find creative ways to observe birthdays, etc.

Kids’ vaccines still crucial, even during coronavirus crisis


About the Author

Fiona Cohen

Fiona Cohen lives in Ballard with her husband, two teenagers, a big vegetable garden and an absurd cat. She is the author of "Curious Kids Nature Guide," and is working on a new nature book for kids, to be published by Little Bigfoot in 2022.