SACRAMENTO — United States Postal Service leaders say though the agency is going into this holiday season with fewer workers than in recent years, it’s prepared.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will kick off the busiest time of the year as the holiday shopping season, and, in turn, the holiday shipping season is in full swing. Shoppers looking for those “can’t-miss” deals are already clicking “add to cart.”
“The moment Monday hits you’re just gonna be like buy now, buy now!” said shopper Samya Khanna.
It comes as fewer shoppers camp out overnight to catch a Black Friday deal they could snag online.
“It’s a lot easier to shop online than actually going out and shopping in-store,” said shopper Alissa Darcy.
“I plan on getting in on Cyber Monday; we’ve been wanting a new TV, a new mattress, we plan on scoring some deals,” said shopper Celina Guillen.
It means USPS has been preparing since January to stabilize its workforce and prevent record shipping delays seen during pandemic labor shortages.
“We’ve hired 20,000 seasonal workers. We’ve converted 100,00 part-time employees to full-time ahead of the holiday season,” said Kristina Uppal, a spokesperson for USPS.
With fewer workers and less facility space than last year, USPS is set to deliver 60 million packages a day, reliant on new technology.
“We have machines that can process 30,000 packages per day,” said Uppal.
While USPS works toward a setback-free holiday season, U.S. consumers face historically high inflation.
An ICSC survey found that nearly 90 percent of people reported inflation would have an impact on their holiday spending.
“You have to take your time to make the choice to spend money,” said Khanna.
“We definitely spent a lot more time preparing more in advance this time around,” said Guillen.
But industry experts agree that people will still shop this year, more conscious of deals and sales.
“The consumer is doing well, so when it comes to the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas, these are nonnegotiable for Americans,” said Sanjay Varshney, professor of finance at Sacramento State University.
USPS says as people start checking the front porch for Christmas package deliveries, they should not expect those major shipping delays. They also advise not waiting until the last second, expecting the postal carrier to save the day.
“The clock is ticking, we always encourage folks to ship early,” said Uppal.
USPS has released its holiday shipping deadlines. To guarantee a gift arrives by Christmas Day, it needs to be shipped out by December 17th at the latest for ground or first-class shipping. For priority, December 19th.
To see the full list of ship-by dates for USPS, FedEx, and UPS, click.