The United States Postal Service’s Plans for the 2023 Holiday Season

The United States Postal Service’s Plans for the 2023 Holiday Season The winter holiday season is always a peak season for postal and courier companies because of how many people shop for gifts and mail them to friends and family. Because of this, carriers start preparing for the holiday season in advance. For example, the USPS announced its plans for handling the 2023 holiday season in September to ensure customers that their mailpieces and packages will be delivered on time.

The United States Postal Service delivers billions of mailpieces and packages during each holiday season. In 2022, for example, the USPS processed more than 11.7 billion deliveries during the peak season. Of course, in order to ensure that most mailpieces and packages are delivered to their intended destination within the set time frame, the USPS starts to prepare for the annual influx of postcards and packages in advance.

Preparations for the 2023 holiday season were made in accordance with Delivering for America, a ten-year plan for the USPS to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence. Here are the key changes that the USPS has introduced in order to keep up with the increased demand during the peak season.

Planned to hire 10,000 seasonal employees. Over the past three years, the USPS has transitioned more than 150,000 pre-career workers into permanent positions in order to stabilize its workforce. Due to this, the USPS will need to hire only about 10,000 seasonal employees for the approaching holiday season.

Installed new package sorting machines. To make it easier for postal workers to sort and process packages regardless of their size, the USPS has installed almost 350 state-of-the-art sorting machines since the early 2021; 100 of them have been deployed since the last holiday season. An additional 47 machines are expected to be installed ahead of this peak season.

Expanded daily package processing capacity to approximately 70 million. Daily package processing capacity determines how quickly packages move through the postal network and get delivered to their intended destination. Since the past holiday season, the USPS has increased its processing capacity by 10 million.

Shifted 95% of mail and package volume from air to ground transportation. In order to improve its logistics processes and make them more cost-effective, the USPS has redesigned its ground transportation network. This allowed to move 95% of First-Class Mail and over 95% of First-Class packages via ground transportation, which is both more reliable and less expensive than air transportation. The shift is supposed to allow the USPS to better handle the increased mail and package volumes during the holiday season.

Introduced USPS Ground Advantage. USPS Ground Advantage is a new domestic shipping service that has replaced First-Class Package Service, Retail Ground, and Parcel Select Ground. It is an enhanced ground shipping solution that offers a straightforward, reliable, and cost-effective way to ship packages during the peak season. Estimated delivery time is 2 to 5 business days within the continental United States even during the holiday season.

However, the most important thing you should know about shipping via the United States Postal Service during the upcoming holiday season is that there will be no shipping surcharges. Normally, the USPS would charge extra for domestic delivery during the peak season to recoup increased operating costs, but this year there will be no peak season surcharges. The USPS won’t charge extra for minimum volumes, for Saturday delivery, or for residential delivery.

Of course, even though carriers do their best to deliver mail and packages on time during the busiest season, mishaps still happen. So we highly recommend that you plan your holiday shipping in advance, keeping holiday shipping deadlines in mind.