JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -As the shopping days wind down til Christmas so do the mailing and shipping days.
The post office says this is the busiest mailing day of the year as more and more of us send out those cards and packages.
"With it being pay day weekend for a lot of people or pay day every other weekend. A lot of people were shopping Saturday and Sunday and mailing today."
Jonesboro Post Master Rob Driskell and I stood in the lobby of the Hattie Caraway station and watched the noontime crowd of mailers waiting for the next clerk.
Nationwide the post office says it expects more than 800 million pieces of mail entering the system today.
That's 40% above the daily normal of more than 580-million pieces.
The catch phrase for this year from the post office is "if it fits, it ships."
Driskell showed me the display of mailing supplies, Birthday cards and the shipping boxes that you see on television commercials.
"We have 4 different size boxes and if it fits in there without changing the dimension of the box it'll fit for one low price anywhere in the country."
But how fast can a package get to say Tucson, Arizona?
We decided to give all the shippers a test.
I sent Four packages all roughly the same size and weight out to Lauren Burgoyne a reporter at KOLD in Tucson, Arizona. 2 of them went ground with UPS & Fed -Ex. The other two were going priority mail and standard shipping with the post office.
And in Tucson Lauren is sending me 4 packages the same way. Tucson is about 14 hundred miles from Jonesboro or about 21 hours driving time.
My first stop was at the post office sending the 2 packages priority and ground.
Then over to Fed Ex. Three day ground is what it should take the package via Memphis.
At the UPS store I asked manager Cameron Bentley how busy they were at this time of year.
"The whole month of December usually about 2700. Right now we're right about a thousand but we've got a long way to go but already it's been pretty busy."
Bentley says their rush started about two weeks early this year.
With the Christmas rush on, UPS no longer guarantees a ground delivery date.
Bentley, "It's still going to be before Christmas if you ship it today or tomorrow but they want you to allow a little longer."
So my package to Arizona, maybe three days via Louisville, Kentucky.
I did want to know exactly how much mail the local post office handled during the christmas season..Driskells answer?
"Truckloads, Truckloads, yes sir. "
Remember to ship early.
We will be having a package tracker added on so if you are curious you can use the tracking numbers and see where the packages are at.