NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Handling millions of packages and letters is a monumental task for the U.S. Postal Service.
CBS2’s Andrea Grymes visited the Brooklyn Processing and Distribution Center in East New York to see what its busiest week of the year looks like.
“We’ll do about 150,000 packages today alone,” Senior Plant Manager Ricardo Quental said.
The facility’s package machine is massive.
“It goes another 200 feet that way, another 75 feet that way,” Quental said.
Special cameras read the package’s address, then the package is sent to a particular slot on the conveyor belt, then sorted into one of 200 destination bins for delivery.
“Never touched by human hands or read by human beings,” Quental explained.
The center processes outgoing and incoming mail for Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Its busy work is done in the evenings and overnight hours while most New Yorkers are sleeping.
“A package will come in here by 2-o-clock in the afternoon, and it’ll be out delivered the next morning,” Quental said.
Forty-four machines sort the other mail — some five million pieces on an average night. It’s done in order of delivery, so the letter carrier just picks up an organized tray and starts his or her route.
Computers sort most of the packages and letters, but on one shift alone, 400 people were working. Employees work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every single day of the year.
“They’re prepping the mail. They’re taking it out after it’s sorted,” Quental said. “There is such a dedicated workforce, especially this time of year, delivering the season, making sure the packages get out there.”
During the holidays, the facility processes nine or 10 million pieces of mail per day. The USPS predicts a total of 750 million packages will be coming in and out of its facilities this year, which is a 12 percent increase over last year.
All that hard work to help you send your Christmas and Chanukah wishes.