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Wisconsin USPS prepares for holiday mail surge amid pandemic

Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 23:32:00-05

MILWAUKE — The United States Postal Service says it is gearing up for what it calls the busiest mailing and shipping week of the year.

USPS estimates it will deliver more than 28 million packages during the week. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day it expects to deliver more than 800 million packages, which USPS says is more than any other shipping company.

USPS has been hiring extra staff and delivering parcels seven days a week.

The volume of packages has already skyrocketed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president of the Milwaukee chapter of the American Postal Workers Union described the volume of mail this year to TMJ4 News as "Christmas plus since the pandemic began." He stressed postal workers are working as hard as they can, and sometimes the volume of mail can be overwhelming.

Some customers are experiencing delays in getting their packages.

"I have a package that's coming from a friend in Richmond, Virginia, to me, and it was shipped just right after Thanksgiving," said Christian Boyd. "And it's still in the system and don’t know where it is except that it's in process."

Boyd has been tracking his packages online and says he noticed mail delays before the holiday season began.

"One of the most frustrating things is one of the packages I recently received, it was in Oak Creek at the distribution center, and it was there for five days," Boyd said.

Boyd says he sends out fudge to family and friends during the holidays, and this year he's telling everyone to be patient if it comes after Christmas.

Some mailing and shipping deadlines in time for Dec. 25 begin this week.

A local spokesperson for USPS says it's best to mail your parcels as soon as you can.

"Don’t wait, there are millions of people out there with the same idea that you have," said Bob Sheehan, the spokesperson for the Lakeland District of USPS. "And if you can get your items into the mail early enough, you are that far ahead."

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