The US Postal Service has hired more people to handle what officials say is a surge in parcel numbers that has rivals the usual holiday season.
The additional workforce allows the Postal Service to extend parcel collection hours at the local post office, said Guam Post Chief Tammy Schoenen.
“We are responding to the increasing volume of packages coming into Guam by hiring more than a dozen new employees,” said Schoenen. “These additional hours will be maintained as long as there is a need and we have the necessary resources.”
Over the past several months, local residents have raised concerns about the long waiting time at the local post office. Residents told The Guam Daily Post that they go to the post office ready to wait for an hour or more – some even carry folding chairs so they don’t have to stand all the time.
Schoenen said he and his staff “process and distribute more packages than we did last December, which is usually our busiest time of the year.”
The total volume of mail entering Guam in August increased by more than 40% compared to the same month in 2019. The volume of mail in August was 25% higher than the volume of mail during December 2019, he said.
The operating hours for package pick-ups in Barrigada, Hagåtña and Tamuning starting today are:
• Barrigada’s “will call” window will be open 24 hours a day.
• Collection of the Hagåtña package will be open from 06.00-17.00 on weekdays and 06.00-12.30 on Saturdays.
• Tamuning package collection will be open from 06.30-16.00 on weekdays and 06.30-15.00 on Saturdays.
Prepare for the holidays
Schoenen also noted that with the holiday season approaching, the Postal Service plans to expand its workforce again.
“We plan to increase the volume of vacation packages by hiring an additional two dozen employees,” he said. “We understand how important the Postal Service is to the residents of Guam and will do our best to provide them with a pleasant holiday.”
The head of the post office gives recommended delivery dates for Guam residents to ship packages for the holidays:
• To mainland US: December 11 for first class / priority mail and December 18 for express mail.
• To Hawaii: December 18 for first class / priority mail and December 21 for express mail.
• To Saipan: December 18 for first class / priority mail and December 20 for express mail.
• To Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau: December 7 for first class / priority mail and December 15 for express mail.
• To APO / FPO: 4 December for first class / priority letters and 11 December for express mail.
Schoenen said for international shipments, residents should check with officers at the local post office.
“Regardless of the suggested delivery date, the best way for our customers to ensure that their holiday gifts get to their loved ones abroad ahead of Christmas is to get their parcels delivered as quickly as possible,” he said. “It’s never too early to start!”