Some say it's the most wonderful time of the year, but for the US Postal Service, this is the busiest time of the year, and Monday marked its busiest day.
The US Postal Service anticipated its workers, nationwide, would process more than 600 million pieces of mail on Monday alone, which is more than double its normal daily workload.
Monday was not, however, the deadline for a package's Christmas Day arrival. The USPS said people can ship domestically as late as Friday using First Class Mail and as late as Saturday using Priority Mail Service. Other USPS holiday shipping tiers and deadlines are available HERE.
Susie Jones was at the post office location Monday morning in downtown Dubuque's Historic Federal Building, shipping a Christmas package to her daughter and grandkids in Atlanta, Ga.
"I saw all the traffic out in front, and I said, 'Huh, this may be getting a little close,' so I was on my lunch hour and I was thinking, 'Well, you know, if I have to wait, I have to wait,'" she said.
Over at Hartig Drug on Dubuque's JFK Road, postal service customers stood in a line as long as 30 people throughout the day, to get their Christmas packages in the mail.
"All day, people (have been) coming in right from the get-go," Hartig cashier Jolene Boever said. "It opened up at 8 o'clock. We had people here about 20 to 8 a.m., walking in constantly with boxes and with their freight and their shipping going out to loved ones."
Ann Edelman was one such customer. Monday afternoon, she stopped in for priority mailing labels for Christmas packages she'll ship later this week.
"Family lives in the East Coast and the West Coast, so it's really efficient way to get it there, you know it's going to be in good shape," Edelman said.
Dubuque's postmaster Becky Burbach said procrastinators are still in luck.
"You can still ship even up to next week. We have priority express mail that you can mail it up to two days or overnight, depending on our services areas, because we do deliver on Christmas Day," she said.
While time is ticking down, it's not quite out yet for those still needing to ship packages.
FedEx says Tuesday, Dec. 17 is the final day a person can mail a package domestically via ground or home delivery service and expect it to arrive on Dec. 25. Its shipping tiers and deadlines are HERE.
UPS says the same thing: a package shipped domestically via ground service needs to go out by Tuesday in order for it to arrive by Christmas. Details are HERE.
USPS, FedEx and UPS all have two-day, overnight and other speedier options, but those do cost more than the above mentioned options, and customers will pay more for the convenience.
There's been so much mail this holiday season, the USPS throughout eastern Iowa was even delivering packages on Sunday, Dec. 15. Burbach said that helped postal workers handle Monday's high mail volume.
Many online retailers are also taking part in Free Shipping Day on Wednesday. All merchants participating in Free Shipping Day are offering free shipping on all orders placed on Wednesday, with shipping guaranteed by Christmas Eve. All of the nearly 1,000 participating retailers are listed HERE.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:01:07 GMT
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