By Nicole Nielsen

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time,  online black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, according to the According to the National Retail Federation.

Many Americans turned to online shopping to avoid crowded stores. Now the United States Postal Service is working to prepare for a busy holiday season.

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“They [our carriers] get ready for this so sometimes it could be 10 or 12 hour days,” said Albert Ruiz of USPS.

Normally USPS gives a prediction of how much mail volume they will see for the upcoming holiday. But this year, because of the increase in online orders, they said it is impossible to anticipate.

To keep up with the deliveries, the service has hired seasonal workers, added extra transportation, and is delivering seven days a week.

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Plus, you may see carriers around twice a day, delivering packages in the mornings and mail in the afternoons. They say that’s typical this time of year, but with more people working from home, they want everyone to be aware of their extended hours.

“During the holidays we come in at six, and we get off around seven or sometimes, eight o’clock,” said Titus Brown, a carrier with USPS for 18 years. “Here recently, we’ve been having to wear headlights, to make sure we get all the mail out because of the mail volume.”

“We want to make sure that every person receives that holiday gift that they’re expecting and that’s one of the reasons we’re asking our customers to make sure that they mail their packages early this year,” said Ruiz.

USPS says a key shipping date to keep in mind is Dec. 15. Mailing by that date should ensure your packages get delivered by Christmas.

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Nicole Nielsen