What's it like for mail carriers on the busiest delivery day of the year?
U.S.P.S. letter carrier Kipp Coffman makes his rounds Thursday. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
If you're still expecting a package to be delivered before Christmas - you're not alone.
As most businesses are winding down for the holidays, the U.S. Postal Service is in the middle of its busiest week of the year.
The deadlines to get packages shipped in time for Christmas were earlier this week, and Thursday, USPS said it will be the busiest day for mailmen trying to deliver them.
Channel 3 followed along with one mail carrier as he was racing the clock to make sure everything gets delivered on time.
Kipp Coffman said he's been mentally preparing for Thursday, one of the busiest days of his career.
"When you walk in and see the piles of packages, the mounds of mail, it gets a little overwhelming," Coffman said.
USPS said 30 million packages will be delivered Thursday across the country.
Some of those, right here in Chattanooga.
"I've got about 80 packages today to deliver, that doesn't sound like many, but most of my route is walking," Coffman said.
With each step, Coffman walks more than 8 miles a day and carries up to 70 pounds in packages.
It's a physically demanding job but he said it is worth it after each delivery.
"The excitement of seeing someone looking for that package and you're the one bringing it to them, it makes their day," Coffman said, "They're looking forward to something and you're the one bringing it to them."
It's a responsibility Coffman honors. He's making sure each package is safely delivered to the right spot.
"Especially putting them out of sight so someone doesn't come up on the porch and steal them unfortunately," he said, "So we try and be mindful of those things and keep it safe for our customers."
Even though he started his shift at 7 a.m.. the busiest delivery day calls for a few extra hours on the clock.
"Hopefully by 5. that's the goal, maybe a little later but that's what we're pushing for," Coffman said.
Coffman also offered a bit of advice for everyone sending out mail. He reminds people to put the full address on mail, including apartment number or suite number.
It guarantees delivery and makes his job a little easier.