HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. Postal Service has been handling mail and packages at holiday levels since the beginning of the pandemic, but with Christmas just weeks away, many will need to act quickly to get their presents delivered to loved ones in time.
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The USPS Honolulu Holiday Spokesperson Gaye Ibara said they are busier than ever and that means more staff is needed to help sort through all that mail.
“Last year we hired 200 employees, so it’s an additional 140 employees that will be stationed either at delivery and retail offices or at the plant the processing plant,” Ibara said.
As for shipments within the state, Ibara said people should bring their mail to the post office by Dec. 19.
“And for all of you procrastinators, you have up until December 21 by express mail,” Ibara said,
Although USPS said mail to international destinations, American Samoa and military bases should be sent by Dec. 4 in order to make it before Christmas.
UPS and FedEx will do overnight express shipping up until Dec. 23, but it will cost customers more.
These dates are not only important for sending presents on time, but also for businesses that are seeing a boom in online sales.
Kona Coffee and Tea owner Malia Bolton Hind said it is all hands on deck at the family-operated business. They are not just having to pack and mail out orders, but they also have to roast the coffee.
“I was in there all weekend long, working eight hours a day, packing these packages,” Bolton Hind said. “A lot of the orders are coming from the mainland. We do have a lot of Kamaaina orders as well, shipping to Oahu, and to Maui and Kauai.”
They doubled their sales from last year’s Black Friday weekend and they hope to continue to increase their orders for Christmas. The holiday demand has helped them make up for the loss in sales from the pandemic at their brick and mortar.
“We roast to order and so that was our problem. We weren’t roasting quick enough,” Bolton Hind said. “So luckily my brother knows how to roast and so he was helping out with that. We had to order a lot of extra packages.”
Meanwhile, long lines at the post office are expected as Christmas inches closer. People can avoid the wait by paying for labels and printing them at home.
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