Postal service ready for holiday rush

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Clerk Wilhelmenia Scott preps a package for shipping at the Post Office on Eighth Street in Augusta.  Sara Caldwell/Staff
Sara Caldwell/Staff
Clerk Wilhelmenia Scott preps a package for shipping at the Post Office on Eighth Street in Augusta.

With sacks full of holiday letters and packages, the U.S. Postal Service will do everything but ride a sleigh and slide down a chimney to deliver mail during this busy month.

The postal service expects to deliver 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. That’s down 1.7 percent compared with the holiday volume last year.

The volume of mail processed daily soars to 589 million pieces, an increase of 38 million pieces compared with an average day the remainder of the year.

Mail is already flooding into post offices, but the automated mail sorting process ensures the clerks and carriers deliver them quickly and efficiently, Augusta Postmaster James Sizemore said. Larger vehicles compared with years past allow carriers to transport a higher volume of mail in one trip.

“When Christmas came around, it was always tough to get all the parcels delivered,” Sizemore said. “Now that the process is automated, the carriers are getting out on the streets earlier, which allows them more time for delivery.”

The busiest mailing day for cards will be Dec. 20. Two days later will be the busiest holiday card delivery day, the postal service expects.

For packages, the busiest mailing day will be Dec. 16 with the busiest delivery day on Dec. 19.

“We absorb it with the employees we have,” Sizemore said. “Our sales and service window clerks still operate much as in past years, gladly assisting our customers with any articles that need mailing, including priority and express.”

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