12/19/05 — Mailers rush to meet deadlines for delivery

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Mailers rush to meet deadlines for delivery

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 19, 2005 1:48 PM

Marcus White's face was hidden this morning as he stood in line at Berkeley Station, a half-dozen cardboard boxes piled high in his arms.

"Here I've got a pair of sneakers for my nephew, a doll for my niece, a few books for my brother's wife and a special gift for him," he said.

White and others lined up in the post office lobby long before staff opened the doors, each hoping to beat long waits and full parking lots as one of the year's busiest mailing weeks began.

Some had bags full of packages. Others, a simple poster tube or stack of letters.

Weekend lines at the local mall seemed short to William Brinkley, who expected to spend quite a chunk of his morning today waiting to send his sister a Christmas surprise.

"We usually see each other over the holidays, but this year she'll be with her new in-laws," he said. "I'm sending her an iPod with a car adapter for their drive."

Wayne County Postmaster Randy Turnage said traditionally, the week of Christmas is extremely busy. While normal days see roughly 500 packages delivered, an estimated 6,000 will be delivered each day this week, he said.

"A lot of people mailed Friday," he said. "But this is a very busy parcel week."

Many, including Jamaal Fairchild, arrived at Berkeley Station this morning wondering if their gifts would make it under Christmas trees across the state and country by Sunday.

"I'm sending a pair of sunglasses to Nevada," Fairchild said. "I just hope they get delivered by the weekend."

Turnage said packages sent early this week will still reach loved ones living in the United States before Christmas Day. Customers using express mail service can expect their gifts to be received in one to two days depending on the destination, and priority mail will arrive anywhere in the country in two to three days, he said.

"It's not too late," Turnage said.

Scott Smith manages the UPS Store on Cashwell Drive and said he expects more than 700 packages to come into his store this week. He added depending on the type of delivery, packages sent in the next few days should reach friends and family across the country by the weekend.

Smith said the longer customers choose to wait to send last-minute items, the more expensive it becomes to ensure a Christmas arrival and that next-day service will be required later in the week.

"If they want to spend the money, I can get it there," he said.