Dashing Through the Snow
Santa's helpers are gearing up. The U.S. Postal Service expects Americans to mail more than 20 billion cards, letters and packages this holiday season, up 4 percent from last year. The holiday season gives a substantial boost to Postal Service revenue. Of the estimated $65 billion in annual revenue, about 32 percent comes from the holiday season.
-- Stephen Barr
Here's how the Postal Service plans to handle its own seasonal blizzard:
Extend lobby hours at many of the nation's 40,000 post offices.
Number of temporary workers hired to help its permanent staff of more than 800,000.
Number of square feet of additional space leased for mail processing.
Number of commercial air flights that will move mail around the country
Number of cargo planes that, starting Dec. 13, will be leased to make up lost time because of bad weather or other problems.
Add thousands of trucks and dozens of trains for mail transportation.
Number of additional sacks and trays put into service.
The Postal Service won't be alone in helping out Santa. Its competitors, such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service, will be delivering packages too.
Estimated daily letters and packages
Typical non-holiday: 88 million
Peak (Dec. 13): 300 million
Typical non-holiday: 12.5 million
Peak (Dec. 17): 18 million
Typical non-holiday: 3 million
Peak (Dec. 22): 4.5 million
SOURCES: U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service, Federal Express