Post offices survive busiest shipping day

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dorothy Beisley prepares to ship Christmas gifts from the Franklin post office on Monday. -- Dale Liesch | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—Dorothy Beisley didn’t realize Monday was the busiest shipping day of the year when she went to the Franklin post office to send Christmas gifts to grandchildren in New York and New Jersey.

“As long as they know it’s on the way, that’s good,” Beisley said.

The Franklin resident procrastinated on the shipping while searching for the best deals at local shops.

In all, the U.S. Postal Service processed 801 million pieces of mail on Monday. The Postal Service delivers 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Franklin Postmaster Terri Brooks has experienced a loss in walk-in business since International Paper shut down, but said this year’s holiday season had been busier than last year.

“Today we got a lot of parcels,” Brooks said. “The past three weeks, we’ve been very heavy with parcels.”

Franklin resident McDaniel Barnes said he waited in line behind three other customers as he tried to track the whereabouts of a package he shipped overnight.

“It wasn’t bad,” he said. “I didn’t wait very long.”

The story was similar at the post office in Courtland as Postmaster Jennifer Banty reported more activity than last year.

“I think it’s much busier than last year,” Banty said. “Companies are offering free shipping for Christmas, and we’re getting a lot of packages in and shipping a lot out. This week and last week we were really busy.”