Team 80461: Neither Snow, Nor Gloom of Night
Delivery Deadlines Loom for Parcels
Bright, paper packages tied up with string. Tis the season for holiday packages and season’s greetings sent by post. Have you ever wonder how many packages are delivered by the United States Post Office (USPS) during the month of December in Leadville? Last year, it was 23,936 and that number is up by 10,000 in just three years.
Whether it’s a shift in population or shopping habits, the increase in parcel deliveries has Team 80461 in overdrive when it comes to the last month of the year.
“December is our time to shine,” said Leadville Postmaster Greg Sandoval. “We are working 6 days a week to serve our community, and show Leadville how great we are.”
While Team 80461 is generally made up of four regular city routes, this year on most days Postmaster Sandoval will have 5 carriers delivering in the city, one carrier using a personal vehicle marked with a postal magnet on the door, to help deliver mail and parcels. In fact, don’t be surprised to see Sandoval himself out there on the streets getting those precious holiday packages to your doorstep on time!
In the outlying areas, Team 80461 has two highway contract routes (HCR Routes) that deliver along the highways up to Climax, out towards Webster’s Gravel Pit road, and South towards Twin Lakes. They are also running extra carriers to help with the volume.
“I have extra help inside the office so my clerks can concentrate on helping customers at the window,” said Sandoval.
As the final week towards Christmas unfolds, here are mailing date deadlines for domestic delivery:
- First-Class Package service (under 13oz) – Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
- Priority Mail – Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019
- Priority Mail Express: guaranteed service – Monday, Dec. 23, 2019
Priority mail includes free tracking, $50 free insurance, and the post office offers free shipping boxes, envelopes, and labels in their lobby. If you need to pick up a last-minute card the PO also carries Hallmark cards that are sold without tax, hey, every penny count counts this time of year! And right now thru Christmas Eve you get $1 off when you purchase two cards.
For parcel headed overseas, the last International service available at this late date is the Global Express Guaranteed, but you have to do that by tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.
Have you seen those boxes – like the one they made a snowman of one year? These are another easy, on-the-fly option. The flat rate box philosophy is “if it fits, it ships.” Prices range from $7.35 to $19.95. Visitors to the Leadville P.O. will be treated to a different box design this year. It’s a postal deer, created by Joyce Sandoval, the postmaster’s mother.
However, if you choose to do-it-yourself and re-purpose that old shoebox, remember, there are standards, so plan ahead to assure that your parcel is properly labeled, sealed and ready to go.
- Pick appropriate package type for what you are shipping,
- Pick a box that’s slightly larger than what your sending,
- Reinforce box with packing foam,
- Cover or remove any old shipping labels,
- Tape along any folds, flaps, and edges, (the P.O. does have tape for sale)
- Never mask label with packing tape.
So what’s the peak day for the USPS? You guessed it, Christmas Eve, December 24. Last year Team 80461 delivered 1,817 parcels in one day! So give them a wave and a smile and make sure that your pathway is clear of snow and ice because Sanat Claus isn’t the only one making the rounds this time of year!
Postmaster Sandoval also shared that Amazon sends a truck six days a week directly to Leadville at 5 a.m. from its plant in Aurora. Throughout the holidays they are also sending an extra truck arriving later in the morning.
Of course, locally there is also B & B Shipping located right downtown at 518 Harrison Ave 719-486-7373. firstname.lastname@example.org Their business hours are listed as Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday. They have a wide variety of shipping and packing supplies in their lobby.
UPS – Big Brown in the Highest Town
Leadville Today also checked in with the bigger shipping companies. The only one who responded was United Parcel Service, good old UPS. While they don’t usually share details on specific markets their PR peeps provided the following information.
UPS is prepared for the 2019 shopping and shipping season. We’re ready to flex the UPS network to handle an increase of 60% over our normal daily volume with more highly automated capacity, new aircraft, advanced operational and customer technologies and 100,000 seasonal employees. Our customers can count on UPS for dependable service from dock to doorstep through the holiday season and beyond.
“Like last year, we are focusing on preparing the network and collaborating closely with our customers to plan when and where volume will enter our network, and when and where it will be delivered,” stated UPS Public Relations spokesperson Kim Krebs. They expect another record peak holiday shipping season, with retail sales forecast to grow more than 5% and online holiday retail sales likely to reach a new high.
“We estimate UPS will deliver more than 32 million packages per day in the U.S. and around the world,” said Krebs. “That’s an increase of 60% over our normal daily volume.” UPS adds about 100,000 seasonal employees to their payroll over the holiday season and “have shortened their ramp-up time with enhanced mobile training.”
And if you think it all ends on December 25, think again! All of the shipping companies are also planning for a heavy returns season after Christmas through mid-January (See our National Returns Day press release).
- UPS projects holiday returns will peak on January 2, 2020 with 1.9 million returns taking place – a 26 percent increase from last year’s peak returns day.
- UPS also expecting 1.6 million returns per day the week before Christmas.
- Record-breaking returns volume illustrates how e-commerce is changing the way consumers buy during the holidays.
This holiday season UPS (NYSE:UPS) is forecasting yet another record-breaking year for e-commerce returns – illustrating how e-commerce is continuing to change the way people shop for the holidays.
In December, consumers will ship via UPS more than 1 million return packages back to retailers daily, a pace that is expected to last into early January. An initial spike in returns is expected the week before Christmas, with 1.6 million packages being returned each day the week of Dec. 16. This first spike will likely be driven by retailer promotions, which will prompt shoppers to buy gifts early – both for their loved ones and for themselves.
The second and largest spike in returns, which UPS dubs “National Returns Day,” is expected to occur on Jan. 2 with a whopping 1.9 million packages returned through the UPS network – a 26 percent increase from last year’s peak returns day.
“As retailers start preparing for the busy holiday season, they should certainly be factoring returns into their business plans,” said Kevin Warren, UPS’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Gone are the days where returns were isolated to January – today’s empowered consumers will be sending packages back to retailers all season long.”
Well, that’s a wrap for LT’s holiday packages report. May you get yours going to where it needs to go on time and in one piece!