PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With about a week until Christmas Day, Monday, December 19, is expected to be the busiest mailing day of 2016 for the United States Postal Service. If you do still have cards or gifts to send to someone for the holiday season, the post office says you’d better hurry up to make it there by Christmas.
The bad news: you’ve missed the deadline for standard post or First Class mail.
“Right now, you should be using Priority Mail,” said Christine Dugas, the Providence spokesperson for the USPS. “You can do that until about the 21st, and after the 21st you should use Priority Express Mail. And you might get it delivered on Christmas Day, because we do deliver on Christmas Day,” even though it’s Sunday this year.
Sometimes referred to as “the turnkey” because it was the first automated post office in the United States, Rhode Island’s main post office on Corliss Street is expecting to handle 3,500,000 million pieces of mail just on Monday. The entire Postal Service expects to handle about 611,000,000 nationwide today, said Dugas.
The postal service has hired more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver cards, letters, and packages this year. About 12,000,000 customers are expected to visit the country’s 31,000-plus post offices.
“This year, we are expecting a 12% increase in packages. We’re very proud and happy to say we are getting those packages home!” Dugas said.
The ramped-up activity won’t end Monday, though. Wednesday, December 21st, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for 2016.