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Federal Eye
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 12/16/2011

It’s busy season at the Postal Service

Letter carrier Kevin Pownall delivers mail in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke - AP)
You think it’s busy and stressful at your office with the holidays just around the corner? Stop by a post office.

Eye Opener

Today marks the start of a busy stretch of days for the U.S. Postal Service, with Friday expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year for holiday packages, according to postal officials.

Most of those holiday packages are slated to arrive at final destinations Monday, while Tuesday is considered the busiest day to mail holiday cards. (For the record, The Eye — thanks to the always diligent Mrs. Eye — is well ahead of schedule.)

Colorful ornaments will be the next issue of holiday stamps. (USPS)
On average, the Postal Service processes about 551 million pieces of mail every day, but daily volume jumps to about 589 million pieces during the holiday season. About 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages are expected to be delivered in the month of December, according to USPS. Despite steep volume declines overall, the Postal Service expects holiday volume to drop by only 1.7 percent versus last year.

And then there are stamps: The Postal Service produces about 2.5 billion stamps every holiday season and said it sells on average two contemporary holiday stamps for every one traditional/religious stamp.

In order to guarantee the delivery of cards and packages in time for Christmas, customers should put packages in the mail by today and cards in the mail by next Tuesday. Priority Mail customers have until next Wednesday to guarantee delivery by Christmas; Express Mail customers have until next Thursday.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

Postal Service delays closing post offices

Postal Service and unions extend contract talks

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 12/16/2011

Categories:  Eye Opener, Postal Service

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