U.S. Postal Service Prepares to Deliver 20 Billion Pieces of Holiday ‘Cheer’
Santa isn’t the only one who will be working Christmas Eve. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will deliver Express Mail on December 24 and 25, helping families and customers across the country keep the “happy” in the holidays.
The USPS expects to deliver 20 billion letters, packages, and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the busiest mailing day expected to be Monday, December 18, when more than 280 million cards and letters will be processed–more than twice the average processed on any given day. Total mail volume on December 18 is projected to rise to 900 million pieces of mail, increased from 670 million pieces on an average day.
About 100 million first-class letters are processed daily. That number increases to about 150 million a day during the holidays. About 12 million packages will be delivered every day through Christmas Eve. The busiest delivery day will be Wednesday, December 20.
Meeting that challenge will take the coordinated efforts of 700,000 full-time and seasonal workers; a National Operations Center coordinating mail flow and delivery around the clock, seven days a week; expanding air cargo lifts by 60 percent; increasing the number of direct ground routes between major metro networks; and fueling, loading, and driving more than 210,000 vehicles.
In addition to the national logistics of moving and delivering all this mail, the USPS will have extended hours at more than 7,400 post offices. Customers can purchase stamps online, at the post offices, or at more than 75,000 alternate access points, including banks, grocery stores, and drug stores. National call center operators are ready to answer questions on hours and services. Customers can call 1-800-ASK-USPS for information.
In addition, there are 2,500 Automated Postal Centers (APCs) in post office lobbies across the country. Just as an ATM is a virtual bank, the APC is a virtual, standalone post office. The APC does everything short of face-to-face transactions–dispensing stamps, weighing packages, and calculating postage for Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, and Parcel Post items.
And, like Santa Claus, post offices are everywhere, with 37,000 locations across the country and on every computer and laptop in America at USPS.com. Almost anything that can be done at a post office can be done online at a time that is convenient for the customer.
Ship a package, purchase stamps, hold mail, request a free package pickup, find a ZIP Code, and design and print greeting cards. There are more than two dozen services available through the USPS.com Web site. This year, a special page was created as a single destination for all holiday needs: USPS.com/holiday.
More than 4 billion seasonal stamps were printed this year. The official holiday stamp is a series of four photographs of snowflakes.
Since 1775, the USPS and its predecessor, the Post Office Department, have connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. An independent federal agency that visits more than 144 million homes and businesses every day, the USPS is the only service provider delivering to every address in the nation.
The USPS receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of $70 billion, it is the world’s leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The USPS delivers more than 46 percent of the world’s mail volume–nearly 212 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals, and packages a year–and serves ten million customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide.