|Holidays increase business for local post offices|
|Written by Tim Rosenberger, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 09 December 2012 16:05|
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the U.S. Postal Service goes through about 17 billion cards, letters and packages, Mark Ford, Bloomington’s postmaster, said.
With the advent of the Internet, some may assume the post office has a smaller intake of mail. Ford finds it to be the contrary.
“What I’ve kind of found to be the case is people who send Christmas cards, who’ve always sent actual handwritten Christmas cards, they prefer and like to continue to do so,” Ford said.
“So our volume of cards and letters that people mail out has stayed pretty consistent and, as I said, probably goes up about two-and-a-half to three times as much as what we would normally handle,” Ford added.
According to ABC news’ affiliate wpbf.com, the national average daily mail taken in by the USPS will rise from 528 million items to 560 million items during the holidays.
Ford said their three busiest days of the year are Dec. 10, 11 and 17.
Also, around 658 pieces of mail will be sorted on Dec. 17, according to wpbf.com.
Added help is not usually brought in during the holidays, so post
office workers have to take fewer days off and their workdays go from
eight hours to 10-12 hours.
It can be difficult, Ford said, to keep everyone well informed about
everything going on, but he thinks good communication is the key to
dealing with the holidays.
People can help reduce long lines and the increased traffic flow by following certain suggestions from Ford.
Customers should make sure mailing items are properly packaged and prepared with legible addresses and return addresses.
Letters and packages should also be mailed out early in the day.
At the Bloomington location, there are year-round automated postal
centers where people can take care of their mailing needs, which will
reduce lines at the tellers as well.
Customers can take advantage of the services offered on the U.S.
Postal Service’s website too, such as ordering stamps and mailing
labels, arranging for package pickup and receiving delivery confirmation
on mailed items.
Ford advises people to send first class mail by Dec. 20, priority by
Dec. 21 and express by Dec. 22 to be sure it gets to its destination in
Despite the heavy influx of customers, Ford said it is not as stressful as it could be.
He finds it a positive for the business and appreciates being able to contribute to the holiday cheer.
The Bloomington post office on 1211 S. Towanda Ave. will be open 1-5
p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 to give people an additional day to mail things
out before Christmas.
More delivery trucks will be added on Dec. 16 to better facilitate the high volume of mail on that day.