The U.S. Postal Service has hired more people to address what officials said is a spike in the number of packages that has rivaled a typical holiday season.
The augmented workforce allows the Postal Service to expand package pickup hours at local post offices, said Guam Postmaster Tammy Schoenen.
“We responded to the increase in package volume coming in to Guam by hiring more than a dozen new employees,” Schoenen said. “These expanded hours will be maintained as long as there is a need and we have the necessary resources.”
For the last few months, local residents have voiced concerns about the long wait times at local post offices. Residents have told The Guam Daily Post that they go to the post office ready to wait for an hour or more – some even bringing collapsible chairs so they don’t have to stand the entire time.
Schoenen has said she and her staff are “processing and distributing more packages than we did last December, traditionally our busiest time of the year.”
The total volume of mail entering Guam in August increased more than 40% over the same month in 2019. The August mail volume was 25% higher than the mail volume during December 2019, she has said.
Package pickup hours of operation at Barrigada, Hagåtña and Tamuning beginning today will be:
• Barrigada “will call” window will be open 24 hours a day.
• Hagåtña package pickup will be open 6 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
• Tamuning package pickup will be open 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Preparing for the holidays
Schoenen also noted that with the holiday season right around the corner, the Postal Service is planning to increase its workforce again.
“We are planning for an expected increase in holiday package volume by hiring an additional two dozen employees,” she said. “We understand how important the Postal Service is to Guam residents and will be making every effort to deliver to them a happy holidays.”
The postmaster provided suggested mailing dates for Guam residents to ship out packages for the holidays:
• To the U.S. mainland: Dec. 11 for first class/priority mail and Dec. 18 for express mail.
• To Hawaii: Dec. 18 for first class/priority mail and Dec. 21 for express mail.
• To Saipan: Dec. 18 for first class/priority mail and Dec. 20 for express mail.
• To Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau: Dec. 7 for first class/priority mail and Dec. 15 for express mail.
• To APOs/FPOs: Dec. 4 for first class/priority mail and Dec. 11 for express mail.
Schoenen said for international shipments, residents should check with a clerk at a local post office.
“Regardless of the suggested mailing date, the best way for our customers to ensure that their holiday gifts reach their loved ones overseas by Christmas is to ship their packages as soon as possible,” she said. “It’s never too soon to start!”