(Undated) -- The US Postal Service is getting ready for its busiest time of the year.
The financially-struggling service is expecting to see a steep increase in holiday mail, especially in the number of packages resulting from online shopping.
Ray Daiutolo is a spokesman for the postal region that includes the midstate.
He says December 17th will likely be the busiest day at post offices.
"We're expecting that probably more than 655 million pieces of mail will be put into our system that day and processed," Daiutolo says. "We believe that we're going to see a nice increase in holiday mail this year."
Daiutolo says the busiest day for mail delivery this year is expected to occur two days later.
Customers are encouraged not to wrap the holiday packages as any decorations could jam mail sorting equipment or make it difficult to read addresses.
Nationwide, the postal service expects to deliver nearly 18 billion cards, letters and packages between now and New Year's Eve.
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