USPS goes all-in for busiest week of the year

By Christie Ileto – December 20, 2017
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Post office employees are in the middle of their busiest mailing week of the year, with many working overtime to help Santa get those packages delivered before the 25th.

“We’re the first people to touch the mail,” said Sherisse Harris, USPS employee. “So we have to make sure the mail gets done in a fashionable time.”

Normally, the Postal Service’s Philadelphia plant processes an average of 405,000 letters and cards a day, but Monday and Tuesday of this week that average has skyrocketed to an estimated 2 million a day. Officials are anticipating that it will remain above average for the rest of the week.

“It’s literally crazy, everyone is working like 7 days a week, 12 hour shifts, just to make sure that we get basically serve our customers,” said Harris.

This is the U.S. Postal Service’s peak week of the year.

“For the most part, you’re looking at all holiday packages coming and going to customers,” said USPS Manager Robert Frisch.

This week, an average of 190,000 packages a day will come through this 900,000 square foot facility. And with Christmas falling on a Monday this year, about 1800 of Santa’s helpers in this building will be doubling down on package handling alone.

“We’re trying to get the mail in as early as we can,” said Frisch. “So we can process with the capacity of the equipment that we have in the building.”

The plant has automated packaging processing systems that sort an average of 7000 pieces per hour. It’s an intense 24-hour operation, that won’t likely lighten until after December 25.