BOSTON (CBS) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for the Post Office, it’s the busiest day of the year for mailing greeting cards and holiday packages.
The Postal Service estimates it will process more than 600 million pieces of mail nationwide today. And in the Boston area that means more staff, more lines and more stress as customers try and beat the Christmas deadline.
At Boston’s Fort Point Post Office it’s the day they’ve been building toward all year.
“Today’s the busiest day of the year for the Postal Service,” says Mike Powers, the district manager for the Greater Boston Postal District.
Customers started lining up at 6 a.m.
“We in the Postal Service, we’ve been doing this for so long, we consider it our season,” Powers says.
And it’s not just an avalanche of cards. The number of packages being mailed is up 15 percent from last year.
“It’s for my grandson in Pikeville, Maryland, so I’m trying to make sure that it reaches there for Christmas day,” says one woman mailing several boxes stuffed with presents.
The counter is fully staffed and self service is bustling, too.
“I’ve never seen it this crazy,” says a customer laughing.
But the line never stops so patience is a major customer virtue.
“I told my co-workers if I’m not back before 2, send a search party,” says another customer.
It all goes into a huge, warehouse type facility filled with sorting machines. Tonight, all that equipment will be humming. Powers said he expects to process 2 million pieces of mail just on Monday evening.
What’s the “make it by Christmas” deadline? Probably Tuesday, especially if you’re mailing out of state.
“My advice is to mail early and mail often,” Powers says.
And what comes in, must go out. Thursday is expected to be the busiest delivery day for cards and packages.
When it’s over, the Postal Service estimates it will have delivered nearly 16 billion cards and letters between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Information about mailing deadlines this holiday season can be found here.