MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — Christmas is just around the corner, which means the U.S. Postal Service is prepping for its busiest season of the year.

“We started preparing for this in February this year, which is the earliest the post office has ever started preparing,” said Shawn Brown, postmaster of the Miamisburg post office.

In 2020, 48 percent more packages were delivered than in previous years, and with an increase in online shopping, they expect this year to be no different. To help with the holiday rush, the Postal Service has hired more than 40,000 workers across the country.

“The postal service has converted 63,000 non-career employees to career positions. They’ve hired 40,000 seasonal workers, we’ve got 10 new facilities and we have added 12 new sorting machines throughout the United States.”

They expect 850 to 950 million packages to be delivered this holiday season. The postal service can fast-track deliveries for a higher cost. To arrive before Christmas, the packages can be sent by Dec. 17. If shipped through first-class service, Dec 18, and Dec. 23 if shipped through priority mail express.

No matter what, Brown said his team will be ready.

“You know there’s a real excitement in the postal service this holiday season,” he said.