Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

U.S. Postal Service Racing to Deliver the Holiday Mail

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

U.S. Postal Service Racing to Deliver the Holiday Mail

Article excerpt

To fully appreciate the sheer crush of holiday traffic moving through the U.S. Postal Service this week, you have to go to where the pumpkins meet the Barney.

That would be in the chill air just off the loading dock of the Postal Service's Teterboro processing and distribution center, where about 2.4 million pieces of mail passed through on Wednesday night.

And that's not counting the nearly 200,000 parcel post packages that moved through the facility, which serves 160 ZIP codes in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren counties.

Most of that mail comes through in rolling orange containers dubbed "pumpkins" that are flipped upside down onto a conveyor belt that feeds "Barney," a big purple machine that towers over the sprawling 350,000-square-foot-facility. Unlike the popular children's character, this automated Barney is no dinosaur. But it is handling a larger-than-expected volume, postal officials said.

"Monday night will be our heavy night" predicted Michael P. Deignan, the Teterboro plant manager. "It's Christmas cards. They (customers) do it on Sunday night."

The letter size mail is loaded into machines that scan and sort it at a rate of 39,000 envelopes per hour.

Packages take a different route. Smaller items are dumped onto another conveyor belt, where loaders stand with what look like a shepherd's staff, nudging items along.

Larger, bulky packages dubbed "Nemos," or "non-machinable outsides," are herded into a fenced-in area called the bullpen, where employees wearing ring scanners on their index fingers log the addresses and sort them by town.

Everything then gets shipped out to places like the South Hackensack post office, where carriers were busy sorting them further onto their individual routes.

"It's a lot of hard work, but we enjoy it," said Regina Baragova, wearing a green and red elf's cap as she sorted boxes. Baragova is one of about 700 seasonal employees hired in New Jersey to handle the increased volume. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.