WORCESTER, Mass. - For the United States Postal Service, it's never to early to start preparing for the holiday season.
USPS is hoping to speed up delivery this year with 118 new package sorting machines. Worcester's machine started running in April and Postmaster Dan O'Neill says it will help them keep up evolving mailing and shipping needs.
"This machine is 12 times faster than what we were doing before," O'Neill said. "So it's all part of a 10-year plan for the Post Office, sustainability and everything else, modernizing our equipment so we are better able to provide more predictable and reliable service to our customers."
O'Neill says the machine is a win-win for employees and customers.
"This can process over thousands of pieces an hour, we've been averaging between 2,600 and 3,000 packages a day," O'Neill said. "Our employees are very happy. Our carriers are very happy they're able to get their packages, they're able to get out on their routes earlier than they ever have before."
According to the USPS, customer demand for package delivery grew nearly 48% last holiday season from the year before, and they delivered a record 1.1 billion packages. However, many were left waiting weeks for important deliveries due to record volume and employee shortages during the pandemic.
O'Neill says these new machines will better prepare them for this year.
"The goal this year is to be much better, better prepared," O'Neill said. "This allows us to be better prepared this allows the people who work here, who live here, we want to be able to go home and know that we feel good, we know our customers and everyone appreciates what we are doing."
The roll out of the sorting machines includes $40 billion in new investments at the USPS.