(WHNT) — The United States Postal Service (USPS) is ready for a busy holiday season, according to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“We are ready and positioned to have a successful peak season,” DeJoy said. “Americans should feel confident sending their holiday cards, mail, and packages with the Postal Service.”

“There is a spirit of excitement throughout the organization and our entire team is ready to deliver the holidays for the nation,” DeJoy continued.

USPS estimates show that more than 12 billion packages, cards, and letters will be sent from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

Debra Fetterly, the USPS Spokesperson for the Alabama district says they expect even more package shipments this year than they saw in 2020.

“We believe we’ll have 35% more than we had last year,” said Fetterly. “Last year, we had 48% more than what we had anticipated, but with all the new changes, everything that we’ve implemented we’re more than ready.”

As part of its preparations for the holiday season, USPS has taken several actions to ensure proper service.

Those measures include converting more than 63,000 pre-career employees to full-time roles over the last fiscal year, a national drive that should add 40,000 seasonal employees by year’s end, the leasing of 13 million square feet of space at 100 postal annexes, and installation of new processing equipment.

Fetterly says all of the changes are part of the Postmaster General’s Delivering for America 10-year plan, expected to “achieve financial sustainability and service excellence.”

USPS says the busiest days of the year are the two weeks before Christmas, but customer traffic at USPS locations is likely to begin increasing around December 6.

In spite of the new actions taken, the organization still urges consumers to ship early.

USPS provides many ways to ship packages in a timely manner, some without even leaving the comfort of your home. For information about shipping online, visit usps.com.

The Postal Service recommends, but does not guarantee, these dates as the last possible day to ship a package or card so it can arrive by Christmas morning:

  • December 9: APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 15: USPS Retail Ground service
  • December 16: APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
  • December 17: First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • December 17: First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • December 18: Priority Mail service
  • December 23: Priority Mail Express* service

The above dates do not pertain to packages mailed from Alaska or Hawaii to the continental United States.

For more information on how to ship with USPS during the holiday season, click here.