Postal services to change at Sundance location |

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Postal services to change at Sundance location

Sundance branch to end shipping Jan. 15; P.O. box service could end in March

Post office employee Don Ciavarra helps customer Michael Condie at the Sundance Plaza branch of the U.S. Postal Service. The post office reports that retail postal service there will end Jan. 15

Christmas shipping

Tim O’Brien, Steamboat Springs postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service, offered the following dates and tips for sending packages in the holiday season:

■ The deadline has passed for sending mail by Christmas to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Postal Service will get all packages there as soon as possible.

■ Friday is the deadline for any other overseas location.

■ Dec. 21 is the deadline for U.S. locations, out of state.

■ Dec. 22 is the deadline for Colorado locations.

■ Dec. 23 is the deadline for sending express packages by Christmas, but that service is available only to metro areas near a major airport.

■ The Postal Service handles about 17 billion pieces of mail nationwide from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

■ Monday is expected to be biggest mailing day.

■ The Postal Service expects about 830 million pieces of mail nationwide that day.

■ On a busy day in Steamboat, local post offices handle 2,000 to 3,000 packages.

■ The Postal Service is offering priority mail, flat-rate boxes this year. If it fits in the box and weighs less than 70 pounds, it’ll ship anywhere in the U.S. for $4.95, $10.95 or $13.95, depending on the box size.

■ The Postal Service can’t ship items that are flammable, are toxic or contain alcohol.

■ Use a complete, printed address and name, with a complete return address, on cards and letters.

■ Pack packages tightly and securely.

■ Remove batteries from toys and appliances, so they don’t turn on during shipping.

■ Use strong packing tape. Avoid paper or string on the outside of a package if possible.

■ Include a paper inside the box with addresses and a list of contents, in case the package is damaged in transit.

■ ZIP codes and shipping rates are available online at, or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.