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USPS to deliver 12 billion mailpieces

Paul Luong, an Alexandria, VA, letter carrier, scans holiday packages last year.

The Postal Service expects to deliver 12 billion mailpieces this holiday season, including 850-950 million packages.

The organization, which released the estimates last week, announced it will expand Sunday delivery, beginning Nov. 28, to locations with high package volume. More than 9.7 million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday throughout the holiday season.

Additionally, USPS said it expects customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase, beginning the week of Dec. 6.

The week of Dec. 13-18 is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. Nearly 2.3 billion First-Class Mail pieces, including greeting cards and packages, are expected to be processed and delivered that week.

The organization, which  is encouraging customers to use for their at-home shipping options, estimates nearly 500,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 14 to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free Package Pickup.

Dec. 19 is predicted to be the Postal Service’s busiest day online, with more than 12.5 million consumers expected to go to for help shipping their holiday gifts.

The Postal Service also expects to process more than 12.6 million pounds of overseas mail for U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State recipients. Both agencies measure mail volumes in pounds, not pieces.

To prepare for this year’s peak season — the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — USPS is leasing 7.5 million square feet of additional space in more than 40 annexes to handle the package increase.

The Postal Service is currently hiring for more than 40,000 seasonal positions to help process and deliver the mail.

Since April, the organization has installed 92 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan for $40 billion in investments during the next decade.

Additionally, more than 50 machines that can sort large packages are expected to be up and running before December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

The 2020 holiday season was a record-setting year for the Postal Service, with more than 13 billion letters, cards and packages processed and delivered.