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Mail, package delivery companies hit snag this holiday season

A slow economy has dealt snail mail a blow this holiday season. Fewer packages and cards are being sent this Christmas compared to last year.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Last-minute mailers kept postal delivery businesses busy Tuesday. At Nollie Jones' UPS Store, it was a rush to the finish line. 

Jones says he hears the same thing each Christmas season.

"They come in and say, 'I have to get it there tomorrow. I don't care what it costs. Get it there,'” Jones said.

Kevin McHugh admitted he is a last minute mailer as he sent a gift to Rhode Island. Tuesday was the last day UPS could guarantee delivery for Christmas.

"It is going to be tight,” McHugh said.

Jones' store will ship 2,000 packages this month. However, business is down around 20 percent this year, Jones said.

At the U.S. Postal Service Distribution Center in Raleigh, as many as 7 million pieces of mail pass through every day. This year, however, cards and letters are down 6 percent.

"We are going to make attempts to deliver all packages that are obvious Christmas packages,” said Sherry McGowan, with the U.S. Postal Service.

People have until noon Wednesday to mail holiday gifts at a Post Office. For an additional premium fee of $12.50, the packages will be delivered on Christmas.

Without the premium service, Idalyn Thomas says she would have an unhappy niece on Christmas day.

“I don't care how much you plan before Christmas, you always forget something. You always do,” Thomas said.

The Postal Service expects to deliver 19 billion letters, packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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 Credits

Adam Owens, Reporter
Geof Levine, Photographer

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