Tanya Taylor, the Annapolis United States Postal Service Postmaster who is head of six separate U.S. Postal Service (USPS) branches in the area, said she expects the amount of packages and shipping the USPS does this holiday to increase at least 15 percent over last year, but 300 new hires are helping out across the state to make things easier.
“The expectation and projection is yes, there will be more,” Taylor said today. “Annapolis by itself is normally (shipping) 3,000 to 4,000 packages and SPR (small packages and rolls) a day.”
As you may have already heard, the post office is advising that the best solution to higher shipping traffic is to get your holiday packages and mailings out early. She estimated for all of Anne Arundel County there are 50,000 to 75,000 shipments that go out of the U.S. Post office daily.
With those numbers likely going up by at least 15 percent this holiday season, to ensure your packages get where they need to , you need to make sure you give postal workers enough time to work their magic.
“Order and ship as soon as possible so your package can get delivered on time,” Taylor said. “The closer you get to Christmas the narrower the window gets.
The USPS has set up mandatory shipping deadlines including for overseas military members (Below) for consumers, to give them an idea of when they need to ship their packages or mail their cards and letters so it arrives by Christmas.
With the height of the pandemic last year, and processing reductions, the post office often struggled with multiple issues in 2020. But this year the USPS has been aggressively forward thinking to cope with the heavy load during the Thanksgiving-to-New Years Day peak season.
The USPS will expand Sunday delivery, beginning Nov. 28, to locations with high package volumes. The USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and expects to deliver more than 9.7 million packages each Sunday throughout the holiday season.
Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
In a press release the USPS stated it plans all year for the peak holiday season. This year’s preparations include leasing 7.5 million square feet of additional space across more than 40 annexes in the United States to handle the increase in the number of packages being mailed.
The USPS is also currently hiring for more than 40,000 seasonal positions nationwide to help process and deliver the mail. Since April, the Postal Service has installed 88 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the “Delivering for America” plan’s $40 billion of planned investment over 10 years.
Additionally, more than 50 machines that can sort large packages are expected to be up and running prior to December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.
Taylor noted that post office customers didn’t even have to go to the physical post office anymore to do shipping. If you have access to a printer to print shipping labels and a scale, the “Click and Ship” option allows customers to leave boxes at their mailbox for a postal carrier to come and pick up.
“As long as you have a scale, you put in the weight, you put in the dimensions (and) and it will actually print a label.,” Taylor said.
For all those needing to get in touch with Santa this year, the post office is offering mailing with a first-class stamp (58 cents). The address is Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888.
Any residents who wants to help Santa with his heavy workload by attending to his correspondence, have until the end of November to register with the USPS at https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/ . .
Overall it looks like this holiday season at the United States Postal Service is going to a bustling, high impact event, as usual.
Taylor called it a combination of joy and stress for her and her employees. Her main focus is to see to mail and packages get where they need to go, and that her employees stay healthy through the season.
She did have one other word of advice for customers.
“Keep your lights on,” she said. “We’re out there delivering. We’re out there until we finish.”
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