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USPS expects heavy holiday mail volume

It is expected that more holiday gifts and greetings will be sent through the mail this year, as families and friends will hold virtual celebrations instead of opening gifts in person.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) always encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early. This year is no different.

This has been an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic and the Postal Service is expecting significant volume increases which are difficult to predict.

The Postal Service begins planning for peak holiday season every January. To help handle the expected volume increase, the Postal Service has the ability to flex its network to meet the significant volume increases expected this year. This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes. The USPS also has 644,000 employees dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays.

Seasonal workers are hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.

The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.