Today typically busiest day of year for post office

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Today is the busiest shipping day of the season for the Postal Service. Millions and millions of letters, cards, packages and more will be dropped off with the U.S. Postal Service today.

For 37 years, Norman Martin delivered the mail to your doorstep.

"It's heavy today, the next day it's heavier and it does not get any lighter til after Christmas," says Norman.

But on this, the busiest holiday shipping day, he's out making sure his Christmas cards make it in time. "I had some free moments, I have some special cards to mail today."

It's those special cards that Marsha Merrell is shipping out today, overseas. "It's really wonderful. There's no lines, so it's great."

"You might get some impatient people when the lines get heavier. But, as of now, it's perfect," says Norman.

"We're ready to go! we've been doing this for 234 years," says Cathy Boule with the US Postal Service here in Richmond. "It's always exciting every year."

But, just like everyone else, the Postal Service is suffering in the tough economy. 1.7 million cards, packages and more will be dropped off today in Central Virginia. That's down compared to 2 million packages last year.

Boule says, some people will do it all from home, online, in their pajama's. "You can even request a carrier pick up and get your packages and you never have to leave your home."

Of course, there are people like reginald hinton. He came out to mail a letter to the IRS. As for those Christmas cards, "I mail a few cards, usually it's there the last minute and sometimes it doesn't get there in time. Usually I make a call and say 'Hey, did you get my card? No? Well, it's coming!'," says Reginald.

Here are those deadlines that you need to keep in mind. December 21 is the second busiest sihpping day and it's also the deadline for First Class and Priority mail. December 23 is the deadline for Express Mail. Express shipping will be delivered on Christmas day.

The Postal Service locally expects 1.4 million packages, cards and other things to be shipped out on Dec. 21.

Today is also the busiest day for FedEx drivers.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.