Holiday crush hits a beleaguered U.S. Postal Service

LOS ANGELES — This week, it’s not just job cuts and potential bankruptcy stressing out the U.S. Postal Service — the organization is in the midst of its busiest two days of the year as holiday messages and gifts flood in.

The service expects to deliver 16.5 billion pieces of mail over the holiday season. Today alone, postal workers will process 600 million cards and letters. On Monday, the service expected to deliver more packages than at any other point during the year.

That’s about the amount of mail as the Monday before Christmas last year, when the Postal Service saw 800 million pieces enter its system, up 40 percent from the year before. The service will sell 2.5 billion holiday-themed Forever stamps over the season.

On the busiest day in its history earlier this month, FedEx dealt with 17 million shipments. On an average day, the USPS deals with 551 million pieces of mail.

The Postal Service this year has said that it is planning a significant downsize, with hundreds of mail processing centers and thousands of post offices on the line starting in mid-May. The agency gets no tax money from the government but is subject to congressional oversight.

The service relies on sales of stamps, products and services to fund its operating budget. But the rise of email and the Internet, as well as competitors such as UPS and FedEx, has cut into snail mail’s popularity.

The national Greeting Card Association said that 1.5 billion Christmas holiday cards will be sold this year, compared to 2.7 million in 1995. The same percentage of people — 17 percent — said they will either send an e-greeting or no message at all to family and friends.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read