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’Tis the Season For Mailing


WASHINGTON, DC — Santa may have Rudolph and innumerable elves, but the U.S. Postal Service has 700,000 employees, more than 200,000 trucks, online convenience and a 232-year history of delivering holiday cheer.

Today marks the busiest mailing day of the year for the Postal Service, with nearly 1 billion pieces of mail entering the system, up from an average day’s volume of 703 million pieces. Americans will entrust about 275 million cards and letters with the Postal Service today, more than three times the average daily volume of 82 million.

The National Operations Center (NOC) at headquarters has been tracking mail delivery, volume, air cargo routes and weather daily since Dec. 11 and will continue working round-the-clock until Christmas Day. NOC staff, charts, systems and graphs will be essential in making Wednesday, Dec. 19, successful when postmaster, letter carriers, processing and distribution center staff and retail clerks mark the busiest delivery day of the year.

“Our employees are working tirelessly to make sure cards and presents arrive on time for the holidays,” said Pat Donahoe, deputy postmaster general and COO. “It doesn’t matter if you’re mailing over miles, over continents or overnight. If the destination is around the corner, across town or overseas, the Postal Service is ready for you.”

With 37,000 Post Offices and stations, 55,000 places to purchase stamps and 251,038 delivery routes within its system, the Postal Service is equipped to handle the busiest days of the year, in addition to rain, sleet and snow.

With Christmas fast approaching, the following mailing deadlines are recommended in order for holiday cheer to reach its destination on time:

* First-Class Mail (with stamps) and Priority Mail: Dec. 20
* Express Mail: Dec. 22

But even procrastinators deserve a happy holiday season. For those last-minute shoppers and shippers, the Postal Service offers three quick, easy and convenient ways to make life a little easier:

* Automated Postal Centers: APCs are virtual, stand alone Post Offices that can dispense stamps and be used to weigh and measure packages, print postage and accept credit card payments — without the service fees.
* Calculate and print postage, find a Post Office with extended hours, request a free package pickup and create and mail holiday cards — without leaving home or office.
* Express Mail Service: Only the Postal Service will deliver mail on Christmas Day.

The Postal Service is providing a money-back guarantee that all Express Mail sent by Dec. 22 will be delivered by Christmas Day. Gifts sent by Express Mail are automatically insured for $100. Express Mail packages and envelopes are available online at and in Post Office lobbies across the country.

“Express Mail is the fastest service for time-sensitive letters, documents and, yes, even holiday gifts,” said Delores Killette, vice president and consumer advocate.

Visit the Holiday Press Room at

Please Note: Broadcast quality b-roll of mail processing, sorting and delivery are available via PATHFIRE and standard broadcast through the USPS Newsroom at
An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.


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