Post offices flooded with holiday packages
The holiday rush is here, and it's not just stores feeling the hustle and bustle of the season.
The pressure is on to get everything you've ordered and shipped under your tree by December 25 and post offices are feeling the impact. Nationally, the United States Post Office processes about 32 million more pieces of mail every day than on a normal day.
A box wrapped in brown paper holds a special gift for Rhonda Hutton's sister. It's a present from Hutton's son, and it has to be in Burke, Virginia by Christmas.
"He made a special gift for her by hand, and I wanted her to get it, because it's like a part of him," Hutton told News 5 as she waited in line at the Bristol, Tennessee Post Office.
We found out her package is one of about 4,000 the Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia post offices will get in one day's time this holiday season.
"Our parcel volume is up probably anywhere from 30 percent on a daily basis of what we usually get," said Gary Riley, Bristol's postmaster.
The lines for customer service reflect what you'll find behind the window; box after box waiting for delivery.
At the Bristol Post Office, we learned they actually help finalize deliveries from other carriers, so hundreds of them were actually dropped off by FedEx, but will be delivered by the post office, adding to that hustle and bustle.
"Right now, if there's a slow period, it probably won't happen until probably December 24th," added Riley.
For mail carriers like Drew McCall, this means more work.
"We have a lot more packages to split on the routes, so it takes longer to carry the routes. It makes it a lot more challenging; it sure does," McCall told News 5 as he was making his deliveries.
With nearly twice the amount of packages McCall would normally deliver, it takes some teamwork for this office to make it through the holiday season.
"It equates to extra hours, obviously on every front. We also have extra employees that are online coming in on their day off in order to assist to get their packages and everything delivered," said Riley.
That's because it's what's inside the packages that might make someone's holiday a little brighter.
If you have holiday packages or letters to mail, we're told it's a good idea to consider Priority or Express Mail to make sure it gets to its destination before Christmas.
To make things smooth at the counter, make sure your package is ready to go with the correct address marked clearly. Of course, those lines could be hard to avoid, so as always, employees ask you just be patient.
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