Post office marks ‘busiest’ day
At times the line stretched well into the lobby as people hurriedly tried to get their packages in the mail in time for Christmas morning.
Monday was expected to be the busiest mailing day of the year, according to United States Postal Service sources, but things were moving quickly at the Cape Coral branch near City Hall.
The line to ship gifts would suddenly surge and then subside, a pattern that USPS’s Debra Mitchell said had been happening all morning.
Mitchell and other employees tried to move the line along as best they could, directing people to the automated shipping machine and getting packages for patrons who had pick-up slips.
“It’s going pretty good. We’re fully staffed right now,” Mitchell said. “People shopped over the weekend and now it’s crunch time. People want to make sure they get their packages out in time.”
The post office is expected to ship upward of 19 billion packages this holiday season, a number that is down from previous years.
Mitchell speculated the economy is to blame for the fewer shipped packages, adding that previous years saw numbers “in the low to mid-20s (billions).”
The quicker turn around times for those waiting in line might be do to people logging onto the USPS Web site, taking care of their holiday shipping needs online.
Mitchell said she has seen a significant increase in USPS Web shipping, which offers discounts and the ability to ship from home, work or anywhere a postal worker picks up mail.
Then there are people who run late, those who wait to the last minute to ship their holiday packages and pay a significantly higher amount to make certain the packages arrive on time.
“Some people are willing to pay any price to have it there by Christmas Day,” Mitchell said.
Most patrons seemed upbeat and happy with the level of service at the Cape post office on Monday afternoon.
Diana King of Cape Coral had no problem getting through the line and shipping her packages.
“It was speedy and well organized,” King said. “I think I waited less than 10 minutes.”
To learn more about online shipping, visit: www.usps.com.