SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Post offices around the country are becoming swamped with the hundreds of millions of packages expected to be shipped for the holidays.
Staff at the USPS post office in Santa Maria are working long hours to make sure packages make it to their destinations on time.
"It is organized chaos, it's very hectic here in the morning," Johnny Ala, Supervisor of the Santa Maria post office, said.
The Santa Maria post office location is approaching its busiest time of year.
"Normally we deliver about 6,000-7,000 packages per day. This Monday we delivered 12,345 packages and it's just steadily increasing each day," Ala said.
Thousands of boxes are constantly coming in from people online shopping to others sending out gifts for the holidays.
"My wife is having her knee replaced the week before Christmas so she got everything done late November, early December. So I'm in between appointments now so I thought I'd stop by and mail out the packages," postal customer John Knemeyer said.
From the post office, the boxes get put on one of 55 different routes that get delivered to the 44,000 different homes and businesses across the city.
The post office says mail carriers are working long hours to keep up with the demand.
"They're delivering from 6 in the morning and our last carrier got back at 8:45 last night. So one guy worked 14 hours yesterday delivering packages and helping out," Ala said.
The post office says some homes and businesses are getting three deliveries a day and they have even added Sunday package deliveries to help with the workload.
"We had 5,300 packages that we delivered just this Sunday alone," said Ala.
The post office says they haven't even reached their busiest time yet, which they anticipate to start next week as it gets closer to the holidays.
If you're looking to beat the lines at the post office, they recommend signing up online for your package to picked up at your door.
There are some deadlines to keep in mind over the next 3 weeks.
For standard shipping, the deadlines are:
December 13th for UPS
December 14th for the Postal Service
December 16th for FedEx.
There's priority shipping you can wait a bit longer on but for the fastest of all deliveries - the overnight shipping - your shipment must be in the carrier's hand by no later than December 23rd.