Gift-givers, USPS race against the clock to deliver record number of packages by Christmas

USPS mail truck
The U.S. Postal Service is handling a record number of cards and packages this year, forging a race against the clock for many who expect their gifts to be delivered before Christmas Day. Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The U.S. Postal Service is handling a record number of cards and packages this year, forging a race against the clock for many who expect their gifts to be delivered before Christmas Day.

USPS faces many hurdles along the way, including the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused employee shortages, mail capacities in trucks and airplanes, and temporary delays.

The post office along Bywood Avenue in Upper Darby, not too far from the 69th Street terminal, was quite busy Friday morning. Many customers came in tow with a bunch of cards and packages, hoping they’ll get to their destination on time for Christmas.

Among them was Yvonne Deaton from Frankford, who was delivering a gift for her nephew’s first Christmas.

“My nephew was just born in September. He’s going to get an outfit. … I sent the toys the other day before it snowed,” she laughed, “so hopefully he’ll get it before Christmas.”

Emily Him hopes her packages will be on time.

“Actually as I was walking up here, I was wondering, should I just hand-deliver it instead? Might that be a little bit safer?” she pondered.

Mike Forrester was mailing several cards and a scarf for his mother. He’s crossing his fingers that it will get to her before the big day.

“They come through for us, so let’s hope that they get there on time.”

Most of the customers on-site said even if the packages don’t make it in time for Christmas, they overwhelming understand the pressure and difficulty caused by the pandemic.

Friday is the deadline for first-class mail service in order for it to arrive before Christmas Day. Saturday is the cutoff for priority mail service.

And for the procrastinators, priority mail express must be sent by Dec. 23.