Those planning to mail holiday cards and gifts may want to steer clear of the post office on Dec. 19 — that’s expected to be the U.S. Postal Service’s busiest mailing and shipping day of the year.
The Postal Service expects to deliver about 750 million packages throughout the holiday season, up 12 percent from last year.
In addition to being the busiest day in post office branches, the Postal Service also predicts Dec. 19 will be its busiest day online, with more than 7 million customers expected to visit usps.com that day alone.
A few days later, on Dec. 22, the Postal Service expects to have its busiest delivery day, when nearly 30 million packages will be delivered.
“With the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and expanded seven-day-a-week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that’s exactly what we’ll do this holiday season,” Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan said in a statement.
To handle the surge in demand, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to process and deliver cards, letters and packages.
Similarly, FedEx also is in the midst of a busy holiday season, with company officials expecting a 10 percent increase in volume over last year during peak periods. The company has 650 aircraft and more than 150,000 delivery vehicles working during throughout the season.
On a typical day, FedEx delivers 12 million packages but on each of the four Mondays leading up to Christmas — which officials say will be among the busiest days in company history — FedEx expects to deliver more than 25 million packages.
The “rapid growth of e-commerce” has boosted demand for FedEx services in recent years, company officials said in a statement.
UPS also expects holiday-related business to increase this year over 2015, with company officials predicting UPS will deliver more than 700 million packages globally in 25 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
UPS is on track to deliver more than 30 million packages a day, on most days, leading up to Christmas — a company record, officials said in a statement. During non-peak periods, UPS usually delivers about 18 million packages a day.