Weekly Feature



2010-12-01 / Local News

Post office ready for holiday rush

by MATT KRUEGER Editor

Mail clerk Dawn Boehm assists Depew resident Jenny Dauer with packages bound for an adopted soldier overseas Monday at the Cayuga Drive post office in Cheektowaga. The Postal Service will handle more than 15 billion pieces of holiday mail this season. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Mail clerk Dawn Boehm assists Depew resident Jenny Dauer with packages bound for an adopted soldier overseas Monday at the Cayuga Drive post office in Cheektowaga. The Postal Service will handle more than 15 billion pieces of holiday mail this season. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The billions of letters, cards and packages people will mail during the holiday season shall be shipped quickly, efficiently and with the utmost care, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Service expects to deliver 15.8 billion pieces of holiday cheer around the world between now and Christmas Eve. And it’s relying on its more than 200 years of experience.

“The holiday season isn’t just the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service — it’s our best time of year,” said Steve Forte, senior vice president of operations. “We ’re the holiday mailing and shipping experts.”

The Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 3 billion cards and letters for all of the holidays. It also expects 97 million customers to visit a post office, 30 million pounds of mail to be delivered to overseas military installations, 3.3 billion stamps to be used, 47.2 million customers to visit www.usps.com and 4.7 million shipping labels to be printed using Click-N-Ship.

To handle the high demand, the Postal Service plans to use 186,200 vehicles to transport holiday mail.

Locally, the plant on William Street in Buffalo, which processes mail for all the ZIP codes around Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Jamestown, expects to handle 18 million cards and letters. The packaging plant in Rochester, which services Buffalo, Rochester, Jamestown, Elmira and Syracuse, expects nearly 7 million packages.

“We ’re prepared to handle Christmas cards and packages for all holidays throughout Western New York,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, communication coordinator. “We ’ve been doing this for a long time, and we know what to expect.”

The Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center handled 15.8 million cards and letters last year and 18.2 million in 2008. The Rochester Logistics and Distribution Center handled 6.3 million packages last year and 6 million in 2008.

The busiest mailing day of the year is expected to be Monday, Dec. 20. Nationally, the Postal Service expects more than 800 million piecesof mailthat day. Itprocesses 559million pieces on a typical day. Wednesday, Dec. 22, will be the busiest delivery day, and staff at the National Operations Center will work around the clock to help navigate mail around the world.

“We ’ve been delivering the holidays for the past 235 years, and we’re proud to deliver excellent service to our customers, especially during this busy time of year,” said Forte.

The Postal Service has posted mail-by dates on its website to guarantee delivery. All military mail destined for Iraq or Afghanistan should be mailed by Dec. 4. Parcels should be mailed by Dec. 15, while first-class and priority mail should be mailed by Dec. 20. And for those customers waiting until the last minute, express mail must be dropped off at the post office by Dec. 22.

“While the Postal Service has been handling the holidays for years and has made all the plans for it to be successful, Mother Nature sometimes gets in the mix,” Mazurkiewicz said. “A bad storm in any part of the country can wreak havoc on our years of experience and best laid plans. And ultimately, it could mean that a holiday gift is not received before the holiday.”

The post office at 285 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga, is open the longest hours in Western New York and processes the most mail.

“That is really the best friend of all Postal Service customers in Western New York,” Mazurkiewicz said. “It’s close to the airport, and it can handle the most.”

The Cayuga Road office is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The branches that serve the Ken-Ton area are at

3014 Delaware Ave., Kenmore and 244 Highland Parkway in the Town of Tonawanda. Both locations are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

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