PHOENIX (KSAZ) - We're here in the USPS west Valley processing and distribution center where an automated processing system is programmed to go through about 10,000 packages an hour.
The system then drops them into the appropriate bin, categorized by location. These machines and over 700 employees will be busier than ever during the holiday season, as 400,000 packages made their way through this facility last night alone.
By the end of the holiday season, they're expecting to have handled a record 16 million packages, which is two million more than last year. It's a big number, but only a portion of the 750 million packages that will be processed across the country this year.
By the way, that's a 12 percent increase from 2015, but in Phoenix, workers sort through it all using man and machine power 24/7.
One-hundred fifty seasonal employees joined the USPS in Phoenix this year to help deal with the increase in volume and those workers have a few weeks to prepare for the big rush.
December 19 will be the busiest mailing and shipping day of the year and December 22 will be the busiest delivery day.
If you want to save some time, head over to USPS.com, where they offer Click-N-Ship and other online services where you can order free priority mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day package pickup from the mail carrier.