COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With Christmas less than two weeks away, the crunch is on to make sure your packages arrive in time for the holidays. The United States Postal Service continues to see a massive influx in packages as the deadline to get your gifts ahead of Christmas nears.
“We run pretty much around the clock, this is our golden season,” said Marty Siminski, Acting Plant Manager at the USPS distribution center in Colonie.
The local distribution center is a hub for mail across the Capital Region. When News10 visited Wednesday afternoon, Siminski said he expected anywhere from 150,000 to 180,000 pieces of mail to be processed that night.
“We’ve been prepared for this, almost like the Super Bowl, the next day they do the parade and they’re starting to plan for their draft, same with us. As soon as we’re done with the next peak, we’re already rolling onto the next one,” he explained.
Well over seven billion pieces of mail have been handled by the Postal Service nationwide so far this holiday season, approaching the volume post offices saw last year.
“We’re ready, and that’s the message. Since January we prepare,” said Mark Lawrence, Strategic Communications Specialist for the USPS.
The influx of mail is sure to continue right up until the holidays. If you haven’t gotten everything sent out yet, there is still time to do so to make sure every gift is underneath the Christmas tree, but time is quickly running out.
This Saturday, December 17th marks the recommended deadline for Retail Ground, First-Class Mail Service and First-Class packages. You have until the 19th for Priority Mail Service and the 23rd for Priority Mail Express.
“Mail early and mail often, we’ll take anything,” Siminski said, urging customers not to wait until the deadline to get everything done.
This time of year, it can be especially frustrating if your delivery is delayed. USPS officials say staff continue working hard to ensure everything is sent out as efficiently as possible.
“Our workforce is giving 110%. Our volumes really really increase this time of year,” Lawrence said.
The Postal Service has also installed over a hundred pieces of new package sorting equipment across the country to be prepared for this year’s peak season.
That new equipment allows for around seven million more packages to be processed daily across the country, an amount Lawrence says has a major impact during busy times like this.