Christmas may be six and a half weeks away but already, “We’re starting to ramp up!” says Eduardo Cuadra, who is the maintenance manager at the United States Postal Service’s processing and distribution center in Oakland.
“Peak season is here,” says Kristina Uppal of USPS. Online shopper Laura Wigfall of Pinole started ordering holiday packages more than a month ago, and is well aware of the demand out there.
“It’s taking a little longer to get things from the USPS and even Amazon slowed down, and things are a little delayed,” says Wigfall.
This year, those delays could be due to supply shortages or retail shipping delays from overseas.
Last year, the USPS saw a 48 percent increase in package demand across the country and expect those high package numbers again. This is the second year that an Automated Sorting System will be used for the 30,000 packages that will soon be coming through the Oakland USPS facility every day. “It’s all about efficiency and consistency,” says Uppal.
“To make sure it gets delivered on time,” says Cuadra.
Those with the Postal service say typically the week of December 13th is their busiest of the year, however this year that date could come earlier because of the supply chain issues and the push by so many to buy and send early.
“We’re receiving things a little slower but I’m feeling good about it because I was like, ‘I have everything that I want anyway so anything else coming is just because’,” says Wigfall.
And while the new sorting machine in Oakland is automated. The USPS says they are still in need and looking for thousands of seasonal workers across the Bay Area to help them get these packages and presents out for the holidays.