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Shipping early over holidays can save green

FILE - This Dec. 19, 2011 file photo shows people in line at the U.S. Postal Service Airport station in Los Angeles. Emboldened by rapid growth in e-commerce shipping, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is moving aggressively this holiday season to start a premium service for the Internet shopper seeking the instant gratification of a store purchase: same-day package delivery. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

PHOENIX -- Shipping holiday packages can be hassle free with some planning.

We all know by now that it usually costs less to ship early, but UPS spokeswoman Peggy Gardner said cost depends on the package and when it's supposed to arrive.

"The price for shipping is really based on a variety of factors: how big is the package, how much does it weigh and how far does it have to travel?"

Imagine shipping holiday packages without waiting in line. Gardner said it's easy to do all the heavy lifting online.

"You can also print out your own label, put it on the box and then not even wait in line at all if you've already paid online," she said.

"Just drop them off at any UPS store in your neighborhood or give them to a driver if you see one in your neighborhood."

Gardner also said shippers can send Christmas packages by ground for the next few weeks, but starting Dec. 21 send them by air to make sure they arrive in time.

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