While it’s the most wonderful time of the year for most of us–it’s also the busiest time of year for mail carriers like Heather Abrego. She, like many others in her field, put in more than 40 hours a week during the month of December. And it’s only going to get busier.
All of the mailboxes and houses in Rockford are expecting thousands of letters and packages for the Holiday Season, and in a short period of time. Many U.S. Postal Service mail carriers having to work overtime just to get it all delivered by Christmas.
Abrego said, “Sometimes during the month of December we work six, seven days a week. 10, 12 hour days. So there’s a lot of overtime you can get per year.”
She is in the midst of her second year delivering mail during the holidays. She said it took her 10 hours last year to deliver all the packages last year
She adds, “Sometimes about 150 a day. So….it’s a lot.”
Especially on December 21st, the busiest day of the year for the U.S.P.S. here in Rockford. Abrego says some days they can’t fit all the packages into one vehicle, and have to rent not just vehicles, but trucks to help complete the days work.
Abrego said, “I think they got about 15 extra vehicles this year to help with the holiday season.”
In total, the U.S.P.S projects more than 15 billion total pieces of mail and packages will be processed and delivered during this holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day–this leading to more than a 10 percent increase in package volume this holiday season. And after its all over, Abrego always looks forward to that moment when she comes home and gets to de-stress with her family.
Abrego adds, “Just relax. Get lots of rest.”
Nearly three billion pieces of mail, including greeting cards and packages, are expected to be processed and delivered during the busiest week.