CHICAGO (WLS) -- Monday is expected to be the busiest day of the season for the U.S. Postal Service. No matter how you ship your gifts, time is running out to mail them so they're delivered on time. But the post office says they're ready for the task.
"There are 620,000,000 pieces of mail and packages coming into system today alone," says Mary Reynolds, USPS spokesman.
Customers at Chicago's main brand of the post office had different reasons for setting Monday as their deadline for mailing holiday packages.
"I wasn't sure what day I had to mail them to avoid paying express mail and making sure they were there well in time before Christmas," said Cynthia Bednarz.
"You want to relax and enjoy the holidays and not be too stressed about it," said Sophie Suh.
The package volume this season is well above 2015's pace due to more people shopping online.
"We've seen package volume during the holiday season increase by upwards of 50 percent from over a couple of years ago," Reynolds says.
More than 1,000 seasonal employees have been hired for the holiday rush, and deliveries are being made seven days a week. Even suburban facilities are helping out with the processing.
Their competitors like Fed-Ex and UPS have struggled in the past to keep up with demand. In 2013, their systems were so overloaded that some packages could not be delivered in time. But Fed-Ex says this year packages will be sorted seven days a week and 55,000 seasonal positions were added worldwide to help with processing.
Shoppers are also encouraged to make sure their presents reach their destinations on time by mailing them as soon as possible.
Monday, Dec. 21, is the deadline for sending packages via Priority Mail; Wednesday, Dec. 23, is the deadline for Priority Mail Express.
Monday is busiest day of holiday season for USPS