Fewer Holiday Cards Being Mailed

Americans Sending Fewer Packages, Cards

There will be a little less cheer being delivered by the postman this year.

The U.S. Postal Service said it is shipping significantly less packages and cards this holiday year compared to normal. This coming a day after the busiest day of the year for the postal service.

On Monday, the U.S. Postal Service Denver mail processing center – usually one of the busiest in the nations – handled 3.1 million cards and letters. That figure was second in the nation, behind Phoenix, out of over 250 processing centers in the nation.

However postal service spokesman Al DeSarro said as a whole, mail is down 10 to 15 percent this year compared to previous years.

“It is mainly due to the economy we think,” he said. “People are buying less and they ship less packages.”

Last year the U.S. Postal Service handled 20 billion pieces of holiday mail. This year the forecast is for 19 billion. As a result the postal service has had to make cutbacks.

“We tried to cut our costs as much as possible,” DeSarro said. “Especially with less mail volume, we didn’t hire as many seasonal workers and we didn’t expand our customer service hours.”

Normally the postal service hires 2,000 seasonal workers in Colorado. This year that number was 200. Also major post offices in the metro area did not expand their business hours and open on Sundays during the holidays, as which has been the par in recent years.

FedEx and UPS are both affected by the slowing economy as well. Because of sluggish sales, both shipping giants failed to forecast a holiday estimate this year. UPS spokesman Norman Black said Thursday is UPS's busiest shipping day of the year. However the company is expected to ship less than the 22 million pieces of mail it delivered last year.

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