Postal service handling Christmas rush

Postmaster Jacqueline Spradley confirmed that Monday was the most active day of the year for the Jonesboro Post Office.

"This is the busiest day," said Spradley, acknowledging customers with both packages and greeting cards to mail.

The United States Postal Service projected that Monday would be its busiest mailing day of the year, with more than 800 million pieces of mail entering the system, a 40 percent increase in the average daily volume of 559 million pieces of mail.

Postal Service Spokesman Michael Miles pointed out that Monday also was the recommended deadline for sending First-Class mail to ensure delivery Dec. 25. Today is the recommended deadline for Priority mail, and Wednesday is the advised deadline for Express mail for delivery on, or before, Christmas.

Customers are being urged to visit post offices during non-peak hours for mailing, and to use Automated Postal Centers (APCs) where they are available.

"The APC does everything short of face-to-face transactions, dispensing stamps, weighing packages and calculating postage for Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail and Parcel Post items," said Miles, in a media statement.

"It's one more way we're trying to save customers time waiting in line, and offering another alternative to meet their mailing needs. APCs are available 24 hours a day."

Miles added that customers also can ship online using the Postal Service's web site –– usps.com –– if they cannot make it to their neighborhood post office in time.

Customers can print shipping labels and pay for postage, using the web site's Click-N-Ship function, he continued.

"We'll be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and times will vary for early closings on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve," said Miles. "On those two days [Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve], many of our offices will close early, around noon."