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Expect the postman early this Christmas season

Medford Postmaster Casey Kamps says local postal carriers have started delivering packages at 6 a.m. to meet the holiday rush. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

Medford Postmaster Casey Kamps wants to be sure no one in the valley is surprised when packages arrive early in the morning as part of the U.S. Postal Service’s strategy to deliver on the holiday rush.

“They’re calling it the 6-9 play — the carriers go around and deliver their parcels at 6 a.m., and they’re back by 9 a.m. for the rest of their day,” Kamps said.

The move to delivering packages and boxed parcels early in the morning is intended to accommodate the extra volume of packages this time of year, he said Tuesday.

On a normal day, Kamps said, Postal Service in the Rogue Valley sees between 6,000 and 9,000 packages. Last Saturday, carriers processed 13,000 packages, and before Christmas is over, they expect to sometimes see 20,000 in a day.

“I wanted people to know who is coming up to their porch, if people are wondering, ‘Is that a carrier out there at o’dark thirty in the morning?’ Yes it is,” he said.

The local Postal Service district covers from Ashland to Grants Pass and is a little understaffed. Kamps said he could use up to 10 more carriers, but he’s confident that with the early deliveries and the hardworking staff he has, Christmas won’t be compromised.

Those looking to get a package to far-away relatives should plan ahead, he said.

“If you want to guarantee it, have it in the mail by Dec. 17 for first-class mail, Dec. 19 for priority,” he said.

Early-morning package deliveries are expected to continue until Jan. 7, Kamps said, but they could end sooner if the holiday rush lets up before then.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at mrothborne@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.