Post office plans mobile stamp station

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The Steamboat Springs downtown post office has a plan to help speed the holiday mailing process for its customers.

Supervisor Nancy Cummins said she has ordered a mobile unit that will allow customers who only need stamps to avoid the line of people waiting to mail armloads of packages. The mobile unit would be staffed by a postal employee during times of peak demand. It would be positioned near the Dutch door that opens for parcel pickup about Dec. 20.

Cummins offered other suggestions about how postal customers could streamline the process of mailing holiday packages.

People who arrive at the desk without completed forms -- for insurance or certified mail, for example -- are delaying the holiday mailing process for other customers, she said.

"That just makes the lines harder for everyone else," Cummins said.

Instead, she suggests that customers plan a separate trip to the post office before the holiday rush to pick up blank forms. That also would be a good time to pick up free priority mailboxes from the Post Office, she suggested.

By making a separate trip, customers could fill out their paperwork in advance and be prepared when they arrive at the front of the line.

With thousands of American troops and civilians stationed around the world, post offices across the country already are becoming busy with holiday mailings. Dec. 11 is the holiday mailing deadline for delivery by Christmas to most overseas and international destinations.

The following includes dates people need to know for overseas mailing. For items to be delivered by Hanukkah, mail five days earlier than these dates:

Global airmail parcel post to the Middle East and Asia should be mailed by Dec. 13. For Europe, the target date is Dec. 10.

For global airmail letters and cards mailed to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, send by Dec. 13.

Global express mail to Europe should be sent by Dec. 11. For Asia and the Middle East, the suggested date is Dec. 17.

Global express guaranteed mail can be sent as late as Dec. 20.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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