Here’s How USPS Is Preparing for Christmas Chaos

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The United States postal service has experienced extreme upheaval in service and delivery at the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. However, amid the holiday season, the ensuing chaos only becomes worse. Fortunately, after nearly two years battling both holiday craziness and pandemic delays, the USPS has found a new way to combat the confusion.

Each year, Outsiders across the country anxiously await the arrival of gifts, Christmas cards, and more. Now, the U.S. continues to see a labor shortage during the postal service’s busiest time of year. However, WRAL News states that new facilities, machines, and numerous holiday hires will contribute to holiday success.

Americans expect to face delays in delivery during the holiday season. However, the outlet stated that one North Carolina neighborhood didn’t receive mail for more than a week. Unfortunately, the case has been true for many individuals across American cities and towns, this Outsider included.

As a result, local post offices and delivery service people have faced backlash. Although, in response, employees have credited the major delays to extreme staffing shortages.

USPS Communications Specialist Philip Bogenberger shared their plans for avoiding shipping delays with the outlet.

Foremost, Bogenberger shared that the USPS has hired a massive 40,000 nationwide ahead of the holidays. The tens of thousands of hires were preceded by 100,000 new individuals at the beginning of this year.

Additionally, the outlet states the USPS has opened 100 new package sorting annexes across the country. The move creates less delay in package sorting, enabling mail to seek delivery much faster.

USPS Installs Robot ‘Workers’ to Hasten Delivery Speed

Increased hires and more package sorting facilities should definitely help in reducing holiday craziness within the USPS. However, alongside the postal service’s newest human hires, the industry has also enlisted the help of robot workers that sort several thousand pieces of mail per hour.

WRAL News reports that USPS Annex Supervisor Nate Purcell gave reporters a tour of NC’s Sandhills package sorting facility.

Of the facility, Purcell stated, “Eventually, we’ll get up to probably 150,000 to 250,000 packages a day coming out of this building.”

At the Sandhills site, the facility boasts 13 robot workers. However, 112 new sorting machines have been installed throughout the U.S. Purcell reports that the facility’s package sorting machine “processes a little over 3,000 pieces [of mail] per hour.”

Altogether, the efforts appear well-intentioned, although the USPS expects to ship more than 800 million packages this holiday season. Nevertheless, despite the odds, Bogenberger states, “we’re ready for the holidays. The investment in our people, the investment in our machines, we’re ready.”

As Christmas is less than two weeks away, Outsider wishes our postal service workers the best of luck ahead of ongoing and approaching holiday chaos.