Postal Service braces for busiest day of the year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you were one of the people heading to the Post Office today, you no doubt noticed the wait was longer than usual. That's because Monday is traditionally the busiest shipping day of the year.

The post office will deliver over 500 million pieces of mail nationwide Monday, according to Michael Hobson Sr., a Postal Customer Service Manager. Over 150,000 packages will be sent at one Kansas City post office alone.

Employees have been working 12-hour shifts all last week, and they expect to continue that trend this week.

One customer, Margaret Lyddon, said she knew today was a busy postal day, but she didn't mind standing in line because she had 44 gifts to send and she wanted to get it over with so she can wrap gifts for her local relatives.

A lot of customers opted to use the self-service kiosk for quicker service.

With Christmas just 11 days away, the US Postal Service says customers must mail out-of-state packages by Friday to ensure they'll arrive by Christmas. Local packages have until Monday to be sent by regular mail with guaranteed delivery by Christmas.

"You'll be surprised at the people that come in 3 days before Christmas and want it there. They have to sent it overnight express mail guaranteed," Hobson said. "A lot of people that do it will pay more for the postage than they did  for the gift."

Hobson said even if the Post Office is closed, the self-service kiosk will be available 24 hours a day.