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Is the United States Postal Service ready for the holiday season rush?

News 8 teamed up with our sister station in Buffalo, NY to put their delivery services to the test.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — With the holidays approaching quickly, the United States Postal Service is ramping up its efforts to get packages where they need to go in time.

Still, USPS officials have warned people to get their gifts out early.

We wanted to see exactly how long it takes to mail something across the country.

News 8's Shannon Handy teamed up with another reporter from our sister station in Buffalo, New York.

Both reporters sent out a priority mail packages similar in weight, on the same day, to test out how long it will take, and what the condition those packages will be in when they arrive at their final destinations.

The idea came to News 8 after our sister stations in Seattle and Houston did a similar experiment.

In that case, one of the packages arrived in Houston in good condition within four days.

The other landed in Seattle in 25 days and the box was damaged.

USPS spokesperson Duke Gonzales says they deal with millions of letters and packages a day, admitting some get damaged and lost.

Still, he assured News 8, the postal service has all hands-on deck as we head into the holiday season.

"Over the past few months, we have hired 40,000 new employees across the country. We've deployed new equipment to select locations and we've redesigned our transportation and logistics network," said Gonzales.

To help avoid delays or disruptions, USPS officials want the public to keep these key dates in mind.

"Our suggested dates are December 18 for priority mail and December 23 for express mail," said Gonzales.

Gonzales says you may want to consider shipping goods out even earlier, saying the USPS can only control so much.

"You know the one x-factor every Christmas season is the weather. We have no control over the weather. So, the best way to counteract potential weather issues is to shop early and get your packages in the mail as early as you possibly can," said Gonzales.

Our experiment is taking place a lot sooner than those deadlines.

We'll keep you posted on what happens.

WATCH RELATED: More people considering travel insurance as holiday travel ramps up to pre-pandemic levels (November 2021)