USPS handling record-setting holiday rush for package deliveries

WEST VALLEY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - December 22nd is always the busiest delivery day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service , but officials say Utah is setting a new record, Thursday. 
USPS will be delivering an estimated 300,000 packages across the state before the day is over -- and 30 million nationwide.  
Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen went to learn how local post office workers are handling the major holiday rush. 
In a large sorting room beyond the orderly lines and friendly faces of the West Valley Post Office lobby, there is a lot to see. 
Letter Carrier, Diane Skougard worked quickly but still spent several hours organizing her inventory before loading it into her truck and hitting the road for her daily delivery route.  She says she and her co-workers are staying extra hours and literally pulling out all the stops this week to make sure every piece of mail is sorted and every package makes it to the right doorstep.
"We have to deliver everything we get [on a given day].  We can't hold anything... so we pretty much have to deliver until everything's been delivered for the day," she explained. 
For weeks now, USPS has been handling the holiday rush by delivering packages seven days a week.  Skougard says this time of the year tends to wear her out fast, especially when people are impatient or rude.  
"It makes you feel terrible, we're really just trying to do the best we can..." Skougard said.  "Everybody expects packages to be delivered by Christmastime, and we're doing what we can to make sure that happens for them," she explained. 
There are some ways to avoid the seasonal stress.
Customers can track packages real-time through, where they can also make notes for postal workers like Skougard. 
"If you know you're not going to be there [when your mail carrier is scheduled to come], you can put in special instructions to leave [your package] with a neighbor, or to put it in a special place in your yard," she said. 
Friday is your last chance to mail a package in time for Christmas, but you will have to pay for "Priority Express" status which starts at $22.95.

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