As she stood in line to send off packages, Laura Burt said the bustle of the Westminster Post Office got her in the Christmas spirit.
“I like that there’s a little bit of a rush,” said Burt, of Westminster. “In the last few years, I’ve sent packages to my brother in Utah and my best friend in North Carolina. It’s becoming a tradition.”
According to a U.S. Postal Service news release, the USPS will deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail this holiday season. In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the Postal Service also expects to deliver 850 million packages, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
“The Postal Service is well prepared to meet our customers’ needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO, in a prepared statement. “America relies on the Postal Service and our 640,000 dedicated employees to deliver the holidays. We take great pride in our holiday readiness and preparation, and in our ability to offer reliable, predictable and affordable service in every community in America.”
With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a busiest day for holiday shipping. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. The week of Dec. 18 through 24 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week. During this week, nearly 3 billion pieces of First Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered. The Postal Service also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.
Westminster’s Lead Sales & Service Associate Joe Fiore has been working for the USPS for 33 years.
“We’re delivering 8,000 packages a day,” Fiore said. “We normally deliver 4,000 during the year. We’ve added some help but not a lot. Carriers are working extra to get the mail through.”
For timely service and easy delivery, Fiore encouraged customers to clearly address their mail and packages.
Fiore said the lines at the post office are “moving as quickly as we can process.”
“ We have lobby assistance to make sure people have everything ready when they get to the service window and two self-service kiosks available 24/7,” Fiore said.
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While there may not be a busiest day for shipping this year, the Postal Service anticipates that Dec. 18 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. This year, the site offers an Informed Delivery tool that allows customers to see incoming mail and packages. It also enables customers to reschedule delivery of packages.