LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the United States Postal Service says it's ready to handle all of your packages. So, we got a rare peek behind the scenes of its Central Arkansas processing facility.
At the Downtown Little Rock post office on Capitol Avenue, packages are waiting inside, ready to be delivered.
Overnight, they were just a few miles from here, at the processing and distribution center near the Bill and Hillary Clinton national airport.
Any package being delivered in Central Arkansas goes through that facility on Lindsey Road and there are several new pieces of technology there this year.
Central Arkansas has two new package sorters, just in time for this holiday season.
The "Automated Delivery Unit Sorter" allows for 12 times the package sorting than manual sorting. Postal service officials say it also helps them handle more volume at a time when more people are shopping online.
“The biggest thing that I want everyone to know is that the investments have been made, and we're well prepared to handle everyone's mail,” Mike Hart with the USPS Processing & Distribution Center said. “And you know, we certainly want everyone to get their mail timely, so we're prepared.”
In fact, it's part of the Postmaster General's $40-billion, 10-year plan. In addition to 112 new package sorters across the country, it includes people.
The postal service has hired about 140 employees in Central Arkansas to help process the volume through Christmas.
The USPS delivered a record 1.1 billion packages during the holidays last year and there are no signs of that slowing down.
Shipping companies are helping people plan ahead for the holiday rush.
To make sure your packages make it in time, the postal service says you have until December 17th to send first class mail and smaller first class packages.
The deadline for priority mail is December 18th and priority mail express is December 23rd.