Mail volume swells as holiday approaches


The faux fireplace roared as residents waited patiently in line with an armful of gifts and goodies to send to family and friends for the holidays Friday.

Joanie Wagner sent several packages of smoked salmon from Dejon Delights to her brother and other family in the Lower 48. Jane Pascoe sent gifts out across the world to Australia and Germany.

More than 1,000 packages came through the Haines Post Office Monday, Dec. 5, but postmaster Genevieve Bell said that’s not unusual for the holiday mail rush.

The Haines office is closely following national trends this season, Bell said, with an expected 12 percent increase in package volume nationwide as consumers move to purchasing items online.

Bell speculated Monday’s local rush to mail out packages was a result of the Dec. 3 Community Education Bazaar, a testament to Haines residents buying local crafts and shipping them out to family and friends.

When asked if the weather was a concern in receiving and sending mail this month, Bell said Alaska Seaplanes has been “quite amazing” in helping to arrange ferry transportation when flights are grounded. There have not been too many weather holds, Bell said.

According to a national fact sheet, Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing day of the year, especially for greeting cards and packages. Dec. 22 will be the busiest delivery day.

Bell said express mail sent out on Dec. 22 will make it to the Lower 48 in time for Christmas, but otherwise customers should mail priority packages as soon as possible.

The Haines office also will be open Saturday, Dec. 24, for last-minute holiday mail.

Bell said Haines residents should come prepared when sending packages – especially international packages – with customs forms and insurance slips, if necessary.

The Haines office is hosting a “12 days of Christmas” giveaway. Each day, a random customer who visits the office between Dec. 13 and Christmas Day will be selected to receive a gift from post office staff.

Also, letters to Santa are due Dec. 16 in the box in the post office lobby.

“We’re excited,” Bell said. “We love this time of year.”


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