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USPS shipping deadlines start Saturday

WUSA9 got an inside look at the Dulles processing plant to see how your holiday cards and packages get from you to your loved ones.

DULLES, Va. — It's the busiest week of the year for the U.S. Postal Service and recommended shipping deadlines are fast approaching.

“We prepare for this week all season long, since January," USPS spokesperson Tom Ouellette said.

Ouellette explained that they hired 20,000 seasonal employees across the country to prepare. USPS also installed 249 new parcel sorting machines in the last two years to improve sorting and thus shipping speed.

He said one of the first ones was put in the Dulles processing plant.

“This year we’re about 15-20% higher in volume, so it’s very very busy," Manager Ariel Ormond said.

According to Ormond, the Dulles plant serves much of northern Virginia, "so it's a lot of customers."

Customers often express concerns over delays, especially with that December 25 deadline looming.

“We’re in great shape," Ouellette said. "We’ve been preparing for this all year."

Ormond said their employees work like a well-oiled machine, so they're ready for the holiday influx.

Everyone's Christmas cards are off to the races, so they'll be home with customers for the holidays.

Here are some important shipping deadlines to keep in mind:

  • First Class packages and mail: Saturday, December 17
  • Priority Mail: Monday, December 19
  • Priority Express: Friday, December 23

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