USPS: Our busiest week of the year

PHOENIX, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Santa is preparing for the big day and so are his elves at the United States Post Office. December 17-23 will be the busiest week of the year for the USPS.

It's the biggest processing plant in the nation, according to the USPS, and likely the busiest.

Employees at the USPS West Valley location are kicking into high gear this week with help from new equipment.

"All this work load was previously handled by hand," said Plant Manager Yolanda Stenson. "Things that won't fit on our larger machine that does even 10,000 pieces per hour."

Plant Manager Yolanda Stenson says the new equipment was deployed last week, just in time.

"Throughout the entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's, we are set to process and deliver 900 million packages," said Rod Spurgeon with USPS. "Want to add letters to that, we've got 15 billion cards and letters on top of that."

200 million packages will be delivered this week alone.

"We have Christmas cheer, holiday cheer throughout this facility, a lot of happy people ready to help our customers and they are excited to do it," said Spurgeon.

"We're very pleased with the performance, accuracy and it couldn't have come at a better time," says Stenson.

At the post office, time is of the essence in this last week leading up to Christmas. December 20 is the last day to ship priority mail and first class mail. December 22 is the deadline for priority mail express.