New employees, sorting machine at USPS West Sacramento center expected to help prevent slow holiday mail

Local News

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) Getting that perfect present to the right person in time for Christmas is a challenge every year, but it may be even more difficult this year.

California and 19 other states have filed a complaint about the U.S. Postal Service’s new improvement plan — one that’s actually slowing down most mail.

Holiday shoppers have just over a month to get their priority mail presents on the way to loved ones serving overseas in the U.S. military. The deadline to send them is Dec. 9.

The USPS mail processing and distribution center in West Sacramento is one of the places playing as one of Santa’s elves this holiday season.

USPS officials said 40,000 new employees will be hired on for the season, 1,000 of whom will be in the Sacramento region.

High-speed letter sorting and parcel separation occurs at the mail processing and distribution center on some of the most advanced equipment in use in the country.

With an additional parcel sorting machine on duty, 625,000 extra pieces can be processed locally per day.

“By adding this equipment, we don’t have to work the mail manually like we did last year,” explained USPS plant manager Renee Jones. “So we’ll be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to sort the mail, which will help get it there on time.”

Though it means mail moves slower overall, USPS representatives said the agency is stepping away from unreliable third-party air transportation for the gifts and cards everyone will be sending to what reps call its own more reliable ground transport network.

For those who want their presents to get where they need to be by Christmas morning, USPS recommends sending them by the following dates, sorted by mail type:

  • Send first class cards and letters by Dec. 17.
  • Send priority mail items by Dec. 18.
  • Send priority express mail by Dec. 23.

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