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American Postal Service holiday preparations underway with a behind-the-scenes tour



Little Rock, Arkansas – As Christmas draws nearer, Santa’s helpers at the USPS are working diligently to spread festive cheer to everyone.

Other than the week before Christmas, Wednesday night is one of USPS’s busiest evenings, according to Mike Hart, Manager of Processing and Distribution in Central Arkansas.

“We’re ready,” he said. “We’re ready to make sure we deliver the holidays.”

Hart claimed that from January of this year, his USPS team has been preparing.

In order to ensure that letters and packages leave on time, Hart, who is celebrating his 40th Christmas with USPS, will work alongside around 250 other employees through the night at the processing center until 3 AM.

“We will put out about 1.2 million letters tomorrow… a lot of those are Christmas cards,” he said. “We’re going do about 113-120,000 packages.”

Hart claimed that although many hands are needed to make everything happen, machines are ultimately responsible.

“I think people would be surprised at how automated the system is,” he said. “There’s very few human hands that touch it once it’s delivered.”

In order to identify where each piece of mail will go, the machines, according to him, encode around 22,000 pieces of mail per hour.

Every letter and package, according to Hart, has a designated location, and everyone is aware of it.

“We get a lot of kids that mail to Santa Claus,” Hart said.

The “Operation Santa” initiative, sponsored by USPS, also receives letters from the “North Pole” in response to letters from children.

As you wait to get your Christmas cards and gifts, Hart advised you to relax knowing that the processing center’s staff is working for you.

Before the holidays, a lot of people will use express shipping to send their packages and letters home on time. Priority mail must be sent by December 23 in order to arrive at its destination by Christmas Day, according to Hart.

“We have a lot of dedicated employees – about 600 dedicated employees – excited to deliver the holidays,” Hart said.

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