WIESBADEN, Germany -- Post Office staff processes around 8,600 pieces of mail every day, which takes approximately seven to nine hours when fully staffed, said U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Postmaster Carolyn Johnson.

When the mail truck arrives in the afternoon, most of the team drops everything, and starts unloading approximately 1,200 big packages and bags, she added. Every piece has to be scanned and then sorted into the right sections. Only the package pick-up window and the postal finance window are manned during that time.

"The work load is pretty intense," said McKinley Taylor, custodian of postal effects. "It takes pretty much everybody's attention to get this done."

Smaller packages come in big plastic bags that have to be opened and emptied - around 3,600 packages and parcels arrive on a daily basis - and every item has to be scanned and sorted. The letter mail alone encompasses approximately 5,000 pieces per day, Johnson said.

The incoming mail is not only for Wiesbaden residents; packages and letters for around 100 other destinations in 52 countries arrive at the Wiesbaden Postal Service Center, Johnson said. These have to be separated and go back into the truck to be sent to their final destinations.

After scanning and sorting the mail, each item is labeled and stocked appropriately. Letter mail and package notifications go into the respective mail boxes, while packages are labeled and placed on shelves. The Wiesbaden Post Office has 8,400 mail boxes, Johnson said, approximately 6,500 of which are in use by community members.

The post office also supports 106 units and organizations across the garrison with official mail, she said. They receive around 80 parcels and 500 letters daily.

Mail that has been missent or is intended for people who are on temporary duty, who have permanently moved or who are deployed has to be redirected to the correct destinations, Johnson said.

It is impossible to put the mail out the same day it arrives because everything has to be sorted, Johnson said. It is a joint effort to get the mail out as fast as possible.

During holiday season, the amount of incoming mail doubles. That is why all post office personnel are exempt from leave from November to January, Johnson said. In addition, nine seasonal positions are filled.

"Please be patient with us due to the high volume of mail that we receive during the Christmas season," Taylor said.