Updated: December 07, 2020 12:07 AM
Created: December 06, 2020 10:39 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — It's beginning to look a lot like a busy season for postal workers.
While the holidays are always busy for the United States Postal Service, this year is expected to be exceptionally busy due to the pandemic.
"We prepared for just about everything," Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, strategic communications specialist for USPS of Western NY and Central PA said.
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo still advising against gatherings, more people will be relying on the post office to get their gifts where they need to go.
Less than a week into December, Abdul-Razzaaq told News10NBC he's already seeing a significant spike in package deliveries.
"Lot of people are shipping from home and they're shopping from home, so the volume -- we're seeing it already -- the volume is already up. seeing probably a good 40% increase so far in packages," Abdul-Razzaaq said.
Extra packages mean extra hands are needed to deliver them. USPS has seasonal workers at the ready.
"We prepare for this season, the holiday season, all year long. We've hired additional seasonal help, and we are ready," Abdul-Razzaaq said.
Gift-givers aren't the only ones taking advantage of the post office this season. It's an important asset for business owners as well. For example, Lauren Barley runs an online candle company called Light My Candle Co. She recently dropped off a large number of packages at the post office, as she's relying on USPS to deliver customer orders from Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
"Since the shutdown in March, we've seen a huge increase in traffic, in orders on my online Etsy shop," Barley said.
There are several important deadlines to consider if you're planning on shipping items for personal or business purposes this holiday season, and you want them to arrive by Christmas Day:
• For overseas military shipments, the deadline is Dec. 11
• For First Class Mail, the deadline is Dec. 18
• For Priority Mail, the deadline is Dec. 19
For last-minute shoppers, there is a more expensive Priority Mail Express option, but USPS does not recommend you wait to ship.
However, it does recommend you use the "Click and Ship" option, which essentially allows you to do everything you would do at the post office (ie: pay for postage, print your label, and arrange for a carrier pick-up) from home.
The most important thing to remember if you're hoping to get your packages delivered on time this holiday season is the earlier you ship, the better.
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