Bloomington, Ill. (WMBD) — With the help of new machines the United States Postal Service is keeping up with the demand of a growing city just in time for the holiday season. This is thanks to the small delivery unit sorter.

“Bloomington-Normal is a growing community. And we’re just trying to keep afloat. So, this machine is a game changer from last year,” said Postmaster Nicole West.

The Bloomington Post Office processes an average of 20,000 packages during the peak holiday season. The post office has received one of 137 small delivery unit sorters installed throughout the country. The machine was installed in February giving the staff plenty of time prepare for the holidays.

“And you know obviously the volume always picks up right after Thanksgiving or even before that anymore. So, the timing on it is perfect, it’s really helping get the mail out the door. Like I said more efficiently and reliable to our customers. So it’s been a big help around here for the Bloomington area,” said Tim Norman with the USPS Illinois Strategic Communications.

The new machines are part of a $40 billion investment into the postal network and the USPS Delivering for America 10-year plan. West said the new machine helps decrease the manual labor on workers.

“Manual labor can be hard on the body day in and day out. This replaces that manual labor and lowers our risk of injury to our employees. And then also they get to go home in a timely fashion to be with their family and shop as well as everyone else,” she said.

The sorter can process up to 2,200 packages an hour. Letter carrier Ken Kemp said the machine makes his job easier.

“It helps me tremendously. I joined the postal service back in ’73 and everything was done by hand. There’s no way we could handle the volume or the mail parcels this time if everything was done by hand. The machines have enhanced the overall operation tremendously,” said Kemp.

In the 10-year plan the USPS hopes to become self-sustaining and high performing. During the holiday season USPS hires about 20,000 seasonal workers. Last holiday season USPS delivered 13.2 billion packages, letters and cards across the nation.