Busiest shipping day of the year

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Santa may get all the credit for getting gifts in every home around the world in one night, but elves are hard at work the weeks prior to Christmas.

The US Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail this week alone.

How is USPS is handling the pressure this holiday season?

On an average day, nearly 3 million customers visit the nation's post offices, while more than 2 million customers visit USPS.com.

The Monday before Christmas is even busier; the biggest shipping day of the year.

“We normally get overwhelmed, but because this Christmas comes on a following Monday, actually the previous Monday seemed busier than today has been so far,” said Allen Stein, USPS retail clerk.

More than 612 million pieces were accepted and processed by the US Postal Service last Monday. 7 percent more packages are expected on Dec 18.

“It's not bad. It's to be expected this time of the year. Pretty big line there but it went fast,” said Johnny Nagel, Bismarck customer.

Stein says there's a method to all the madness.

“We have a really good crew of people here. They work very well with the customers. The customers are very nice as well, so that helps a lot,” said Stein.

These post office elves have been working hard since Thanksgiving. Between Turkey Day and New Year's Day, USPS expects to deliver more than 850 million packages.

“Santa deserves all the credit,” said Stein.

Friday is the last day to get a package out to arrive in time for Christmas, using Priority Mail Express.

For more holiday shipping deadlines go to usps.com/holiday.