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Post offices pounded by waves of holiday parcels

Staff writer

County post offices are being bombarded by holiday parcels, and some weeks have processed about twice as many packages as they have Christmases past.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the holiday consumer frenzy, Marion postmaster Lori Kelsey said her branch saw a large increase in parcels.

“Last year on the first Monday in December, Marion received 362 parcels,” Kelsey said. “This year we received approximately 804 parcels. That’s a 55 percent increase. It was great!”

The tally decreased to 615 parcels on Monday, but Kelsey said Dec. 5’s count was the most parcels she had ever seen come in to the post office on the first Monday in December.

Hillsboro postmaster Rebecca Tibbetts echoed and expanded upon Kelsey’s sentiment. She said her location was added as direct drop location for a popular online shopping company in May.

“That means we receive another pallet of packages daily after we receive our normal mail truck,” Tibbetts said.

She assessed parcel delivery numbers for the week after Thanksgiving for the past four years and found that online package ordering and direct delivery likely helped doubled Hillsboro’s parcel load.

“Last December we never rose over 1,700 packages for a week or 400 in a day,” Tibbetts said. “That shows a huge influx of online package ordering already this year.”

She estimated approximately 100 to 175 parcels a day to be processed at Hillsboro, but Monday tallies were usually larger because Hillsboro does not deliver on Sundays.

They received 590 parcels on Nov. 28, 635 parcels on Dec. 5, 566 on Monday, and she estimated totals to go up the Monday before Christmas.

Kelsey said Marion also handles packages for Burns, Cedar Point, Elmdale, Florence, Lincolnville, Lost Springs, and Peabody.

“They, too, are all seeing increases in parcels,” Kelsey said. “In fact, on Dec. 5, we had to take a carload of mail and parcels to Lincolnville because the carrier did not have enough space left in her vehicle to accommodate all the mail.”

To help alleviate Monday parcel workload, Kelsey said Marion also is looking at an option to receive and deliver parcels on Sunday.

Postal punch-list

  • To get their presents delivered by Christmas, holiday gift-givers should mail their parcels by Thursday for USPS domestic retail ground, Friday for military APO/FPO/DPO priority mail express, Tuesday for first-class mail, Dec. 21 for priority mail, and Dec. 23 for priority mail express.
  • Print clearly all address in their entirety.
  • Packages should be mailed early to insure that they arrive before Christmas.
  • Batteries should be removed from toys.
  • A card with delivery and return addresses should be placed inside each package to ensure it will be delivered or returned should mailing labels become damaged or fall off.
  • Zip codes should always be verified.
  • Both “To” and “From” information should be inscribed on only one side of a package.
  • Mailing boxes should not be reused.
  • Boxes should be strong enough to hold securely the contents and should not be reused to mail things. Priority Mail and Priority Express Mail boxes are free.
  • Fragile or hollow items should be stuffed and surrounded with packing material to avoid damage.
  • Glass should be removed when mailing framed photos.

Last modified Dec. 14, 2016

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