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USPS expects record-breaking holiday package business

While email and online bill payment have been responsible for a drop in mail volume, the U.S. Postal Service said that the Internet in fact will give a big boost to the organization’s competitive package business this holiday season.

While email and online bill payment have been responsible for a drop in mail volume, the U.S. Postal Service said that the Internet in fact will give a big boost to the organization’s competitive package business this holiday season.

USPS predicts it will deliver 365 million packages this holiday season, an amount it said represents a 20 percent increase over 2011.

The Postal Service said the “record-breaking increase” in its competitive package business comes from greater consumer use of online shopping.

All in all, USPS said it will deliver nearly 18 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. The Postal Service said the busiest mailing day will Monday, Dec. 17, when it anticipates it will process more than 655 million pieces of mail. Later that week, the busiest delivery day for letters will be Dec. 19, and the busiest delivery day for packages on Dec. 20.

USPS hopes to boost the trend with what it called its “largest direct mail effort ever,” targeting about 140 million U.S. residences, with information about a dedicated holiday website called at usps.com/cheer, where customers can “print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and request a free package pickup.”

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