Still at it, the United States Post Office faces off with Christmas once again

Monday, December 9, 2019
Marshall United States Postal Service workers were up and moving mail early Monday morning.
Lee Jasper/Democrat-News

July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed: ”That a postmaster General be appointed for the United States Colonies who shall hold his office in Philada., and shall be allowed a salary of 1000 dollars per an; for himself, and 340 dollars per an: for a secretary and Comptroller, with power to appoint such, and so many deputies as to him any seem proper and necessary.

“That a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the postmaster General from Falmouth in New England to Savannah, Georgia, with as many cross points as he shall think.”

Two-hundred thirty plus years and a few more “cross points” later, the United States Postal Service is still at it, making sure every person in the U.S. – no matter who or where—has the right to efficient, secure and equal access to mail service and to expect those Christmas packages to arrive on time.

With an increase in early and online shopping, postal officials say they no longer have the “busiest day” scenarios as in the past. Consumers are not waiting until the last minute to either do their holiday shopping or try to get those packages in the mail in time. The Postal Service says they now have the “busiest time,” which is the two-week period before Christmas. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest shopping, mailing, and delivery week of the year. Postal officials say they expect to deliver 3 million pieces of mail along with 200 million packages that week.

The USPS also process mail for the Department of Defense and Department of State at higher rates during this period. While mail for the DoD and the DoS is measured in pounds, not pieces, the USPS expects to process more than 15 million pounds of mail destined for DoD and DoS sites between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

The overall projections for this year’s holiday mail volume weigh in at a whopping 16 billion deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

During the busiest week, the USPS expects to move 28 million packages per day, slightly above its average daily deliveries through the year of just over 20 million packages per day. With other national shippers moving some of the mail, the USPS still delivers more mail and more packages than any other shipper in the U.S.

The USPS prepares all year for the upswing of their workload over the holidays by making sure the equipment used to sort, process, and deliver the mail is in good working order. Seasonal workers and technology have been expanded in recent years to enhance package tracking and delivery throughout USPS processing and transportation networks.

Tips from the USPS to make your holiday mailing experience smoother include suggestions to use the priority mail flat rate boxes available free at your local post offices or online. USPS also suggests trying the new Click-N-Ship online program where you can create shipping labels, pay for postage online, and request free next-day package pickup. The USPS estimates as many as 400,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship and other online services this holiday season.

The USPS also provides online video “how to” guides for holiday mailing. The videos, each no more than 3 minutes long, provide instructions on how to address, ship and safely pack boxes for safe delivery. Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found online at the Postal Holiday Newsroom.

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