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USPS Close to Breathing Sigh of Relief: 9.8 Billion Holiday Letters and Packages – and Counting

USPS Close to Breathing Sigh of Relief

On December 20th, the Postal Service had accepted over 9 billion pieces of mail and packages since Thanksgiving, which fell on November 25, 2021. Forty-eight hours later on December 22nd, the number stood at over 9.8 billion. The USPS estimates the number will rise to 12 billion letters, cards and packages by New Year’s Day.

You can view an online counter that shows a rolling count of mailpieces being handled by the Postal Service this holiday season on the USPS holiday portal. The counter is based on electronic documentation of mail and package items accepted and premailing notifications received by the Postal Service.

The USPS Holiday Newsroom portal also has shipping deadlines, fact sheets and other resources to help customers and employees. (If you click on the mailbox flag in the illustration at the top of the page, you’ll find a “special surprise.”)

On Wednesday, the USPS said it expects to deliver 850-950 million packages during the 38-day stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

It used the opportunity to promote the organization’s 10-year plan:

“The Postal Service began preparing for this year’s peak delivery season months ago, an all-hands-on-deck effort that dovetailed with the launch of Delivering for America, the 10-year plan to strengthen customer service and achieve financial sustainability.

“The work included boosting the number of career employees, hiring seasonal workers, leasing additional facilities to handle the package surge and expanding Sunday deliveries in high-volume locations.

“USPS also installed more than new 100 package sorting machines — which have proven a big hit with employees.”

What it left unsaid: those workers and machines will likely be inundated with holiday returns well after Christmas Day.

Let us know if your packages are getting delivered on time.

UPDATED: Headline originally stated 9.8 billion packages – updated to state 9.8 billion letters and packages.

USPS Holiday 2021
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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “USPS Close to Breathing Sigh of Relief: 9.8 Billion Holiday Letters and Packages – and Counting”

  1. Have to say it might be the USPS’s last good year, with the new drop to $600 for a 1099k, alot of sellers will be quitting, the 150% rate increase on packages over 30″, which just from my sales will be around $30K in postage I won’t be selling.

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