GOLETA, Calif. — To prepare for the upcoming holiday season, over 100 package sorting machines have been installed at United States Postal Service centers throughout the country.
One such machine — the Small Parcel Sorting System — has already been put to work at its Goleta processing and distribution center.
“This is a more modern machine that we have, it’s much more efficient,” Santa Barbara P&DC plant manager Matt Graybill said. “This year we should be able to process almost around the clock.”
Last year’s holiday season was unlike any other for the USPS, as plenty of people ordered gifts online.
“Last year, packages were off the roof,” USPS supervisor Janice Lopez said. “Because of COVID, everybody was ordering online and the volume here tremendously increased.”
Demand for package delivery grew nearly 48%, creating chaos for customers and employees alike.
“We were overwhelmed last year,” Graybill said.
Yet, he believes that these new package sorting machines will be a game-changer, allowing for 12 times the package sortation capability than manual sortation.
“Last year, we have 3 million packages processed through the month of December,” Graybill said. “With this machine, we can process twice as many.”
Not only does the machine make things easier for employers sorting packages but also customers receiving their mail.
“With this new sorting machine, we’re able to provide that customer service and deliver more things on time,” Lopez concluded.
This is part of a 10-year, $40 billion plan for the USPS to modernize its operations.