US Postal Service Says Send Christmas Letters by December 17

Get your Christmas mail on its way by December 17, says the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). That is if you want it delivered before December 25.

The USPS said it has prepared for this holiday avalanche for months. It converted 100,000 workers to full time since 2021. It added another 20,000 “seasonal” workers in October. These figures get added to an already bloated employee count.

The December 17 deadline applies to several types of mail. These include First-Class Mail (which includes greeting cards), First-Class packages and packages sent by Retail Ground service. The USPS says this is the busiest week based on mail volume.

The announcement means that the USPS needs up to seven days to deliver packages that should be delivered in three days, according to other comments made by the organization about its speedy mail plans.

The slow delivery announcement once again raises the question of why the USPS is so large and unwieldy. It has over 34,000 post offices and 630,000 workers. The system is inefficient. In its most recent fiscal year, it lost $473 million on $79 billion of revenue.

The inefficiency adds to the criticism that the USPS provides too many services. One of these is six-day-a-week delivery. Email and the ability to attach large files that go over the internet are one reason the six-day-a-week service is antiquated. Another is the ability of Americans to use private services like UPS and FedEx.

Of all these USPS operations, the count of post offices makes the least sense. Some of the 34,000 are in towns with less than 3,000 residents. It is unimaginable that the USPS needs that many to efficiently deliver the mail.

Send your First-Class Letters by December 17 for them to be delivered by Christmas. That is as terrible as it sounds.

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