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CNN Today

U.S. Postal Service Spokeswoman Discusses Holiday Mail

Aired December 20, 2000 - 1:12 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: It is the sort of news you do want to hear from the post office. If you mail a Christmas card -- or a mortgage payment, for that matter, which could be more important -- by today, it should -- and that would be an important note here -- should get there by Monday. Today alone, the U.S. Postal Service is processing upwards of 300 million cards and letters, and bills as well.

Joining us from New York to talk about that is Postal Service spokeswoman Pat McGovern.

Now, Pat, I'm a little bit concerned because I do have here a few of those last-minute cards. Now, most of these are going locally around the Atlanta area. Do I have a shot of getting them there before Christmas?

PAT MCGOVERN, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: Oh, yes, locally you can mail and you still have a couple of days left. Locally, there's overnight and some two-day areas.

CHEN: Well, this would just be for my regular cards. Now, if I were to mail you a Christmas card today, is it going to get to you by Monday, or are you going to get it a little bit late?

MCGOVERN: Well, it should get there by Saturday. Monday is Christmas Day. The only deliveries we have on Christmas Day are Express Mail. But we do deliver Christmas Day and Christmas Eve Express Mail.

CHEN: And I have to tell you, I have used that once or twice in my life. Now, talk to me a little bit about the level of packages you're receiving. We understand that UPS has had a banner year. What about you guys?

MCGOVERN: Well, the same here. We expect at least 9 million more than we had last season. And if the cards are any indication, we hit, as you mentioned, over 300 million at our peak mailing day on Monday. Most of those will be delivered today. So if the packages are following close behind as far as compared levels of mailings.

CHEN: What do you think is driving up the number of packages? Is it because we buy more stuff by catalog and e-mail and that sort of thing these days, or is it just because we like to send out more packages and more presents than perhaps you're accustomed to seeing in previous years?

MCGOVERN: I think it's a little bit of both. The e-mail purchasing has certainly increased our business, as well as the catalog delivery and ordering through the catalogs. We've seen an increase in that. I know even myself I've ordered a lot more just because of time. You don't always have the time you used. You can sit home at night, flip through a catalog, go on the Internet and order and do your shopping from your home. Makes it a lot...

CHEN: But I have to tell you that having the availability of Express Mail, even on a big holiday like that, I mean, it almost sort of encourages you as a consumer to procrastinate.

MCGOVERN: Yes, I guess it does in some ways. And people procrastinate, but you've also got people who like to have the surprise of something arriving on Christmas Day. And that's in most major cities. If you're in a rural -- real rural area, you have to check with your post office to see if there'll be delivery on Christmas Day.

CHEN: All right, Pat, what about you? Do you have all of your packages in the mail?

MCGOVERN: My packages, yes, I do have them in the mail. And my cards all went out. I was good this year.

CHEN: Oh boy. Well, Santa will be nice to you, then.

Pat McGovern, Postal Service spokeswoman from New York today, thanks for being with us, Pat.

MCGOVERN: Thank you and happy holidays.

CHEN: All right.

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