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Holiday crush hits post office

Paul Shockley

Craig’s U.S. Post Office employees this morning braced for what looked to be among the busiest days this year.

“It will be one of the biggest for us in terms of walk-in revenues from letter and packages,” said William Barclay, postmaster at Craig’s U.S. Post Office.

Sales were expected to double from regular business days, while last week Craig postal patrons brought four times more business than normal, Barclay said.

More of the same is expected throughout the week, as last-minute shoppers try to get packages where they need to be.

Packages bound for out-of-state destinations need to mailed by Wednesday to make it under trees before Christmas, Barclay said.

“They need to go by Friday for in-state (destinations),” he said.

The postmaster added that those timetables assume a package is mailed via “priority mail,” as opposed to regular parcel.

Be prompt about picking up packages when you receive notices, the postmaster requests.

“We are limited in space,” Barclay said.

Craig’s Post Office will maintain its regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. But toward moving lines faster, Barclay said the window counter will be staffed with three employees, as opposed to the normal one or perhaps two.

Avoid heavy volume mailing hours.

“Try to avoid coming around the lunch hour, which is our biggest crunch,” said Barclay, adding that the half-hour before closing should also be avoided.

“Like any business, if you wait until the last minute you have a crowd and there’s only so much we can accommodate,” he said.

Have forms such as insurance on packages filled out in advance to speed up the process, he suggests.

Barclay said as an extra safeguard, write a return address inside of packages. Don’t use liquor boxes, or leftover boxes originally holding potentially hazardous materials such as detergent. Use tape designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced kraft paper tape, or glass-reinforced pressure sensitive tape, according to tips posted on the United States Parcel Service’s Web site.

“Boxes have to be covered with paper,” Barclay said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.


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