Postal Service expecting its busiest day of the year
Headed to the post office today to mail holiday packages? You should expect a long line.
The U.S. Postal Service anticipates Monday will be its busiest day of the year, with a holiday influx of about 800 million letters and packages, a 40 percent increase over the average daily mail volume of 559 pieces.
"If customers get their cards and packages to us by Tuesday, Dec. 21, we'll get them delivered by Christmas," Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said ahead of Monday's big day.
USPS recommends getting your cards and letters into the mail today to ensure delivery in time for Christmas. Tuesday is the recommended deadline for sending packages with Priority Mail. Wednesday, Dec. 22, is the recommended final day for customers using Express Mail.
Customers too busy to get to the post office or wait in line may request free package pickup by visiting USPS.com and a letter carrier will pick up packages during regular mail deliveries the next day.
The 2010 holiday season follows the Postal Service's worst fiscal year ever -- with about $8.5 billion in losses. Much of its debts are tied to billions of dollars in payments to retiree pensions, but also the continued migration of commerce to the Internet. Despite the losses, members of the postal community remain hopeful.
"What the Postal Service has to do is adapt to the change as a result of the Internet," National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando said Sunday. "They've adapted to so many changes over the years. What you have here, if you take the mail out of the equation, you've got this incredible universal network for the American people, probably the only universal network that goes to every home and every business six days a week."
Rolando, speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," noted that the Postal Service's chief holiday competitors, FedEx and UPS, are also its strongest business partners.
"Probably the fastest growing division in both of those companies is the Postal Service delivering the last mile for them, taking their parcels door to door because it makes more sense for us to do it because we go to every house," Rolando said. "They may go to every 50th house, every 100th house."
How are you sending your holiday letters and packages? How was your most recent visit to the local post office? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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| December 20, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener, Postal Service
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