Shipping companies brace for holiday mailing rush

USPS expects busiest time of year to start two weeks before Christmas
Shipping companies are bracing for the holiday mailing rush, but urge shoppers to send out their packages with enough time to spare.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:46 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As millions of shoppers prepare their holiday gifts, postal workers and shipping companies are also gearing up for the busy shipping season.

The National Retail Federation reported a record of nearly 197 million Americans shopping in stores and online from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, which is 17 million more than what was reported in 2021.

Ranee Wagner Polen sent her holiday package ahead of schedule to beat the holiday rush.

“Usually, I wait until the second or third week of December, but I wasn’t going to do that this year,” she told NBC12. “This year, just seemed to be everything’s congested, stores, shopping, sometimes I’m not getting what I ordered on time.”

This early start is one shipping companies are urging people to follow to make sure their gifts make it under the tree on time.

“Here at UPS, we’re ready to deliver this holiday season,” said Lizzy Crouse, a spokesperson for UPS.

Crouse said in 2021, UPS delivered nearly 97 percent of their packages on time during peak season, which falls between Nov. 28 and Dec. 24.

“We plan to equal or better that performance this year,” she said.

One way UPS can do this is through its workforce.

“We do bring on about 100,000 seasonal employees across the country,” she said. “The coolest part about coming in on as a seasonal employee with UPS is it can actually turn into a full-time career.”

Crouse also said they’re also continuing to hire in the Richmond area.

“Some applicants can even get a job offer within 20 minutes, so we’ve really made the process easy for these seasonal positions so that we can get you onboarded, trained to work safely and effectively for the holiday season,” Crouse said.

The United States Postal Service also said they’re in a strong position when it comes to the holiday mailing and shipping rush. In a press release sent out on Nov. 25, officials said the organization recently finished installing 137 new package sorting machines across their network, which will “expand daily package processing capacity to 60 million.”

A spokesperson for USPS said the busiest time of the season for the Postal Service begins two weeks before Christmas.

As for shipping deadlines, the United States Postal Service you have until Dec. 17 to use regular ground service if you want your package to arrive by Christmas Eve. The deadline for priority mail is Dec. 19.

UPS listed the following schedule as their holiday shipping deadlines:

  • UPS 3 Day Select®: Monday, Dec. 20
  • UPS 2nd Day Air®: Wednesday, Dec. 21
  • UPS Next Day Air®: Thursday, Dec. 22

You can also find out more about FedEx’s peak holiday shipping deadlines by clicking here.