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Snail mail: It's the busiest shipping day of the year

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If you're going to the post office, get ready to wait in line.

It's the busiest shipping day of the year for the United States Postal Service. On Monday alone, it's expected to process 640 million cards, letters and packages, according to the USPS on Facebook.

That's 33 million more pieces of mail than the busiest mail day last year, and more than 100 million above what the USPS handles on a typical day (528 million), according to a news release.

But it's not just the busiest day of the year for the Postal Service – it's the busiest season. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the USPS expects to deliver 12.7 billion pieces of mail, CNN Money notes, including 475 million packages – a 12 percent increase over last year, the Star Tribune said.

And it doesn't end after Christmas. An additional 3 billion pieces of mail are expected to be shipped between Christmas and New Year's Eve, CNN Money says.

Because of this, the USPS is delivering mail seven days a week in major cities, including several post offices in the Twin Cities, KARE 11 says. However, lines at the post office are still slow moving around the country because of cuts to staff the Postal Service has been forced to make over the years due to falling profits, the Star Tribune noted.

Get your packages delivered on-time

If you haven't shipped packages or sent of your holiday greetings yet, the Postal Service says Dec. 20 is the deadline to make sure they're delivered in time for Christmas, according to a news release. However, last-minute shoppers have until Dec. 23 to ship packages using priority mail express. (Click here for a guide to mailing this holiday season.)

The increase in online shopping has meant more business for the Postal Service and other shipping companies, WCCO notes.

FedEx expects to handle 22.6 million packages Monday, and projects to make 290 million deliveries this holiday season, up roughly 9 percent over last year, CNN Money says.

UPS, however, expects Dec. 22 to be its busiest day, where it'll handle a projected 34 million packages. It's planning to deliver 585 million packages this month, according to a news release. UPS delivers approximately 17 million packages on an average day.

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