The U.S. Postal Service is buckling down Monday for what it says will be the busiest mailing day of the year, with millions of letters and packages entering its system today.
Dec. 21 is expected to be the busiest delivery day, thanks in large part to holiday shoppers nationwide opting to buy online rather than in stores. That day, 30 million packages are expected to be delivered, said Lynn Taylor, USPS communications coordinator for the mid-Carolinas district.
The local USPS is encouraging Charlotte residents to ship their items as early as possible to make sure cards, gifts and other parcels make their way to their destinations by Christmas.
About 7 million customers, the most of any other day of the year, are expected to visit USPS.com Monday, Taylor said. USPS offices are also expected to experience the heaviest foot traffic Monday, Taylor added.
During the holiday season, the USPS processes about 536 million pieces of mail a day, compared with its average non-holiday daily volume of 506 million pieces, Taylor said.
“I would definitely encourage people to mail as soon as possible. The earlier the better,” Taylor said Monday in Charlotte.
To accommodate the increased traffic, the USPS has four Charlotte-area locations open Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. over the holidays: the downtown station, Ballantyne station, Matthews post office and Huntersville post office.
The local USPS is also encouraging residents to visit its website (USPS.com), where they can purchase stamps, order shipping supplies, pay for postage and arrange for pickup.
The surge in online shopping has also shaped the way the USPS and other companies have handled their seasonal hiring. The USPS said last month it’s hiring 390 seasonal workers in the mid-Carolinas district, which includes the southern part of North Carolina and the northern part of South Carolina. That’s up from 160 last year.
Online spending this holiday season is expected to increase 6 to 8 percent to $105 billion, up from a rise of 5.8 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation.