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Shipping companies anticipate busy holiday season

After a record-setting holiday season in 2020, U.S.P.S. is anticipating another busy season.

CLEVELAND — With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday kicking off the holiday shopping season, companies are preparing for another hectic few weeks of packaging and shipping. 

3News reached out to FedEx, who told us that expect to deliver more than 100 million more shipments this year than in 2019. The company credited an emphasis on e-commerce and investments, including modernizing their fleet of planes, for the increase. Additionally, they added they are projecting that “peak shipping volumes will be up more than 10% YOY,” and said they have been preparing for what they call an “unprecedented holiday season.”

The United States Postal Service said last year’s holiday season was record-breaking, with 13 billion letters, cards, and packages delivered. This year, they are anticipating 12 billion letters, cards, and packages, with 850 million to 950 million packages delivered specifically.

UPS told WKYC they are anticipating “another record holiday season,” but do not publicly forecast package volume.

"A big rush, rush, rush,” said Antoinette Allen, lead pool clerk at a post office in Cleveland. "People are going to be really really coming in trying to get those gifts out. I do encourage them to come in the sooner the better, so they can get them to their loved ones as soon as possible.”

Allen has been working for U.S.P.S since 2013 and says she saw particularly high volumes of packages during the holiday season in 2020. This year, she recommends everyone get their packages out as soon as possible.

“Now that it is December, go ahead and try to get them out as soon as possible,” she said.

For those trying to avoid shipping gifts this year, Beachwood Place General Manager Heidi Yanok said she’s seen a rise in in-store pick-ups.

“Post COVID, you’ve really seen the heightened idea of in-store pickup,” she said. “It’s always kind of been there, but it’s really beneficial that you’re walking away with the satisfaction of having that item in your hands. Many of our stores do [options] where you can order online, pick up in-store, or even have curbside pick up here so you can get your item and go home and have it right in your hand.”

Shoppers can opt to pick up their items in-store or ship the item to the store rather than their home. Other options to avoid shipping include purchasing and sending digital gift cards.

“I think this is unprecedented. I don’t think that we’ve ever seen anything like this,” Yanok said of the holiday rush during the pandemic. “I think that COVID has definitely shifted things and the way that we do things on a normal basis. But I think that our retailers have really stepped up to that demand.”

Click here for a list of shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts reach their destinations on time.

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