Watch CBSN Live

Postal Pressure Is Building

It's the annual holiday crunch time at the post office. The U.S. Postal Service expects Monday to be its busiest day, as Americans drop the holiday cards they spent the weekend finishing into the mailbox, reports The Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel.

"We'll process, between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, 20 billion pieces of mail, 147 million parcels, 110 million of which will be priority mail," says Nicholas Barranca of the U.S. Postal Service Command Center. "And we'll be delivering on Sunday if it's required, based on the local conditions."

In an effort to ensure a successful holiday season, the post office has hired 40-thousand temporary workers and leased 100 extra cargo planes to move mail and packages during the holiday crush.

"I would suggest, between now and the holiday, you use priority mail but during the last week prior to Christmas, I would recommend you use express mail," Barranca explains. "We'll even accept express mail pieces on Christmas Eve for delivery on Christmas Day and in many places around the country we'll be delivering those as Santa Claus. No additional charge, either."

Here are some additional tips to help make sure your holiday gifts and cards get to loved ones and friends on time:

  • Use complete addresses, including zip codes and apartment numbers.
  • Return address is also very important.
  • For people who don't know the zip code, you can call the post office or check the agency's Internet site at