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USPS ‘ready’ to tackle upcoming holiday season

The busiest time of the season for the postal service begins two weeks before Christmas.
The busiest time of the season for the postal service begins two weeks before Christmas.(Source: WSFA)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:37 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The U.S. Postal Service is preparing for another busy peak holiday season but ensures that they are ready to deliver.

“This year we’re better prepared and we’re ready,” said U.S. Postal Service communications specialist Debra Fetterly.

With the pandemic driving more people to shop online, USPS and other carriers experienced a historic volume of mail in 2020. The unprecedented package volume caused many Christmas gifts to arrive late.

USPS is now preparing for an even higher delivery demand this year. Fetterly said this holiday season they will be tackling customers shopping both in person and online.

“Last year we had a 48% increase and this year we’re expecting 35% over our average daily volume,” Fetterly said.

Despite the challenge, the Postal Service said they are preparing for the 2021 holiday peak season through:

  • Increased hiring of delivery and mail processing personnel (40,000 nationwide). Alabama has hired several hundred employees, Fetterly said.
  • The leasing of millions of additional square feet of sortation facilities. The Birmingham Package Support Annex is one of 45 leased facilities across the nation.
  • The installation of new processing equipment, including package sorters in Birmingham and Huntsville. Those are two of 112 package sorters being deployed throughout the nation.

It’s all a part of the Postal Service’s new 10-year “Delivering for America” plan. The plan includes a $40 billion investment into capital improvements and $20 billion into mail and package processing.

Fetterly said shipping early this year is encouraged. The busiest time of the season for the postal service begins two weeks before Christmas.

Dec. 19 will be the busiest day online with 12.5 million consumers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift.

Temporary price increases will be in place through Dec. 26 Central time for both retail and business customers for some of the more popular shipping products.

TIPS

  • Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at local post office locations or online at www.usps.com/freeboxes.
  • Make it easy with Click-N-Ship. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
  • Schedule a free package pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can also be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
  • Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a retail associate at a post office.
  • Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom.

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