SAN ANTONIO – The United States Postal Services’ packaging and processing centers are shipping out 310,000 to 320,000 items daily this holiday season, far more than the usual 170,000 to 180,000 seen typically during the year.
“Nothing compares. This month is crazy,” said Jannette Dominguez, a mail processing clerk. “Like, during the year, we just work six to eight hours. Sometimes, we get to go home at four hours because there’s not much, and right now, it’s been crazy. The belts are full the whole day.”
USPS officials said they’ve planned for the increased demand. The postal service added processing equipment, 100 employees, and 70 peak-season employees locally just this year.
Something the USPS didn’t plan for was the relaunch of the free at-home COVID-19 testing kits program.
Carriers started shipping the kits Friday. By Monday, they delivered more than 160,000 kits.
“We’ve been handling it just fine again. We got some additional package sorting equipment in, and that has enabled us to increase our capacity to about 380,000 packages per day,” said Kim Calderon, the San Antonio distribution center manager.
Calderon said that with processing centers moving smoothly, all you have to do to get a package to its destination by Christmas is mail it on time.
If you ship your package with Priority mail express by or before Friday, Dec. 23, it will make it to its destination by Christmas Day, according to Calderon.
The last-minute shipping will cost extra, and it all varies depending on the package size and the destination.
Find more information about shipping rates here.
Find local post offices and their hours of operation here.