BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mailing letters may be on the decline, but what has grown over the years is the parcel business.
Thanks to the increase of people shopping online instead of in store, the United States Postal Service is delivering a lot more packages.
"Online shopping and the change of customers' habits has really impacted what the holidays look like for the postal service," said USPS Spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz. "We're seeing double digit increases in our package volumes."
That's about 12 percent over last year, in fact.
Here's how that translates in WNY: This year, 8 million packages will be sent to or from Western New York between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 40 million letters or cards will do the same.
They all come through Rochester and then get distributed around the region to Buffalo, Jamestown, Syracuse, and even down to Elmira and Ithaca.
That means on December 24, the sorting and deliveries continue all the way through the evening.
Technology makes the process easier, but getting mail to its final destination still requires sorting by hand.
"They were a dedicated crew 37 years ago when I started, and they are today," said Buffalo Postmaster Tom Szklarz. "The clerks, the carriers, the mechanics who make the trucks run better, the mail handlers, the rural carriers...this is our season, and it's our season to shine."