Deadlines loom as busiest shipping week of the year begins

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG)- Lines and shipping deadlines. That’s what eastern Iowans will cope with this week as the holiday draws near. And the U.S. Postal Service says this week will be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery time of the whole year.

Part of the line at the Cedar Rapids main post office on Monday. Today marks the beginning of the busiest shipping week for USPS and other shippers.

And it’s getting down to the wire to get the gifts and packages either sent or delivered by shippers.

The USPS deadlines are Thursday for 1st class mail and Saturday for express next-day deliveries. Other shippers like FedEx and UPS also have deadlines this week and literally everybody on both ends of the process is gearing up for a long, long week.

At the Cedar Rapids Post Office, 134,000 parcels went out last week. On the busiest week of the year, this week, that number will grow.

Cedar Rapids postmaster Dave Lynch says most people are aware of the deadlines and making their last-minute plans.

“We’ll have 98-99 percent of our mailers getting those packages, those letters in the mail on time to get there because they know how busy we are at this time every year,” Lynch said.

Lynch said the postal service added 14 employees in Cedar Rapids for the holidays with all those temporary workers either behind the counters or in back helping with processing.

He said the number of delivery workers is the same as last year and one customer, Lynda Chamberlain, says she’s noticed that’s meant some later mail.

“We got our mail about a week ago, it was 8:45 at night and I heard the mailbox clang and I thought what’s going on and looked and there was a postal carrier with a flashlight,” she said.

Lynch said carriers are starting as early as six in the morning and working until well after dark.

That’s what it takes to get out the holiday mail and packages.