By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
The United States Postal Service announced Nov. 5 that it expects strong growth in its package business during the 2015 holiday season.
The federal agency said in a release it is expecting a 10.5 percent increase in package mail between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
Postal officials said that the USPS expects to deliver approximately 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats, and packages during the busy holiday mailing period.
How much of that mail is expected to be first-class letters was not made clear in the release.
In 2014, the USPS saw a jump in holiday letter mail over 2013 levels, according to numbers from the first quarter of the agency’s fiscal 2015 year, which began Oct. 1, 2014.
Christmas has traditionally been a boom time for the Postal Service, with holiday mailings from both individuals and advertisers filling most mailboxes.
Postal officials said that Monday, Dec. 14, should be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages and cards.
The highest delivery day should come Dec. 21, with 30 million packages expected to be delivered that day.
The Postal Service also said that “following the success of the 2014 holiday season, the Postal Service will again deliver packages seven days a week in select major cities and high-volume areas beginning Nov. 29.”
Deliveries should “average approximately 5 million packages every Sunday during December,” it said.
“Customers can count on the Postal Service and our more than 600,000 dedicated employees to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, who also serves as CEO of the USPS.
“We have been investing in our infrastructure including package sortation equipment, new delivery vehicles and scanning technology to expand our capacity, improve operating efficiency and provide real-time visibility,” she said.
The Postal Service plans to hire 30,000 temporary employees for the 2015 holiday season, the release said.
Holiday mail advertising also began the week of Nov. 5, the USPS said, adding that its ads will note that the Postal Service has added real-time delivery notifications to the mailing options it will offer customers this year.