SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When it comes to package delivery this time of year, a certain jolly red-suited man comes to mind. Practically, however, a large amount of the nation’s packages are delivered via an army of carriers with the USPS.
Mark Inglett Strategic Communications Specialist for the USPS says that last year the USPS delivered 1.1 billion packages during the Holiday season, a record, and he says he expects this year to be just as big.
Inglett says the USPS got some new help this year to handle the workload. “We created the Delivery for America plan,” he said. “We’ve added 112 processing machines throughout the country, and they can process 3,200 packages per hour.”
According to the USPS, these added machines have boosted the agency’s daily processing capacity by an additional 4.5 million packages.
Inglett also mentioned that the postal service has opened up 46, annexes (one of which can be found in Sioux Falls along Cleveland Ave. between 10th and 6th Street). These annexes are all within 5 miles of large processing facilities, according to Inglett, where the postal service has placed some of the new processing machines to help speed up processing and shipping.
It’s not just machines and annexes that have been added this year either.
“We’ve taken 63,000 pre-career employees and converted them into pre-career positions,” said Inglett. “We’ve added 60,000 pre-career employees, and then we have 40,000 additional seasonal employees.”
In terms of who will be delivering your packages, Inglett said the USPS tries to make sure that every driver has an official postal vehicle, but that in some rural areas, carriers will drive their own cars.
When it comes to helping out these carriers, Inglett repeatedly hammered home one point in particular.
“Please leave those porch lights on for us,” he asked. “We’ve got folks as early as 6 a.m. delivering packages — also leave them on in the afternoon because it gets kind of dark early.”