BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Christmas is near and many are shipping off their holiday gifts to someone special.

The Christmas chaos is already underway when it comes to shipments and online shopping. Companies and services have amped up their workforce to handle the volume.

“Of course it’s the busiest time of year for us. We look forward to it. We plan all year long. We started planning in February just to accommodate and make sure we were prepared,” said United States Postal Service Operations Integration Manager Larry Darsam.

People like Keith Carroll are using mailing services to ship gifts and complete their holiday to-do lists.

“We usually do this all the time. You know, exchange yearly gifts. I was just trying to go to the post office to get it knocked out for the rush hour of packages happens,” said Carroll.

The United States Postal Service said they expect this upcoming week to be the busiest.

“Our busiest week is upcoming, that’s going to be that Dec. 13-18. That week alone, we’re looking at delivering nationwide in excess of 200 million packages. And if you really want to break it down locally, roughly about 10,000 packages a day in the Baton Rouge metro area,” Darsam explained.

The post office, along with UPS and FedEx, plans to hire about 230,000 seasonal workers despite the nationwide labor shortage.

“It has been somewhat of a struggle, but we’ve been fortunate we’ve been able to, you know, hire what we need, we increased our vehicles to deliver more packages,” said Darsam.

Carroll said he’s thankful to be able to connect with his friends, even hundreds of miles away.

“I mean, it feels like old times. It feels like they haven’t moved because of how the technology is now, just makes it seem like they’re always there right next to me,” Carroll expressed.

“Every day is kind of like Christmas for us. But during the holiday season, we try to make sure we go that extra effort,” said Darsam.

If you plan to mail or ship a present to your loved ones, don’t wait until the last minute.

Darsam said these are the dates you should look out for:

  • All first class packages and greeting cards need to be postmarked no later than December 17th to ensure delivery by Christmas.
  • You have until the 18th to mail packages by priority.
  • And the 23rd if using express mail.