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USPS put to test during busiest week of the year

GOLETA, Calif. — Packages, presents and letters in fast-moving machines. Welcome to crunch time before Christmas for the United States Postal Service.

At the Goleta processing and distribution center, it's busy as can be for plant manager Matt Graybill.

“This is the busiest week of the year,” he said. “Starting on Monday, we processed probably over 150,000 packages.”

However, his staff has prepared for this moment all year long. 

Aiming to significantly speed up operations, they installed a brand-new machine — a Small Parcel Sorting System — that processes 5,000 parcels per hour.

Despite this huge help, the staff’s all-hands-on-deck effort also means extra hours for everyone.

“It’s been crazy, we’ve had more mail volume than we’ve ever had before,” USPS customer service supervisor Andrew Imai said. "We’re all working six days a week. I work almost 11 hours each day.”

Throughout the several-thousand-foot facility — the largest in the Tri-Counties — everyone is working hard to ensure that all deliveries arrive at customers’ doorsteps by Christmas Eve.

“We’re all working as hard as we can and it's never-ending, but we’re committed to getting the job done,” Imai said.

The Santa Barbara P&DC expects to process over 1.1 million packages over the next week.

“Every piece, everyday goes out," Graybill said. “ That's our plan. We want to be out on time and get mail to you on time.”

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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