Danville post office experiences holiday shipping rush

Published 3:20 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Postal workers in Danville are working overtime as they experience the same high package count as last December during the pandemic.

Holiday season in 2020 brought one of the biggest shipping rushes in U.S. history. More than ever, people were ordering gifts for delivery, as some stores were still closed from COVID-19.

Delivery workers across the nation worked overtime to get all their packages delivered, and many customers’ orders were delayed from the high volume. Danville Postmaster Diane Evans said the post office also had issues with shipping last year, but this year were able to prepare for it.

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“I thought that maybe this year, with a lot of businesses opening back up, that a lot of people would be going out shopping more; but it’s pretty much on the same track as what we had last year, volume-wise,” Evans said. “I think [people have] gotten used to that; it’s easier just to mail and let us bring it to them.”

Evans hired additional help this year to prepare for the holiday season. She said they learned a lot from last year’s issues, and operations are going better this year as a result.

But even with more workers, the employees are still working overtime to get everything delivered. The office is having everyone from management to custodians go out for deliveries, including Evans herself. Last year she went on full routes for several days.

The office is still short-staffed from where they should be, and they are continually hiring for part-time workers. But even with the extra workload, Evans doesn’t expect any delays unless for severe weather.

“We want our customers to have their Christmas presents and be happy,” she said.

Evans said their business has increased in general since the start of the pandemic. They’ve hired additional full-time employees since then, as people still do much of their shopping online.

“I think it’s just a new way of life that people have learned,” Evans said. “I don’t blame them. We’re here for service, we love it, and if our volume increases, we love our customers and it’s what we want.”

As delivery workers are doing extra hours past sunset, Evans said that if people are expecting packages, that they can help workers by leaving their porch lights on and making sure house numbers are clearly visible. People can also check their mailboxes a few extra times per day.

The post office has announced the following holiday shipping cut-off dates:

• First Class Mail – Dec. 17

• Priority Mail – Dec. 18

• Priority Mail Express – Dec. 23

• USPS Retail Ground – Dec. 15