Millions of gift deliveries facing delays this Christmas

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — With millions of Americans skipping holiday travel this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record flood of holiday gifts are overwhelming the U.S. Postal Service. The delays have also begun to trickle down to private carriers, including FedEx and UPS, as people look for alternative ways to get their gifts to friends and family on time.

Around 6 million packages a day are piling up in retailers’ warehouses or shipping centers, awaiting pick up by various carriers. Another 3.5 million packages are being picked up daily, but not reaching their destinations on time, according to software company Shipmatrix which tracks deliveries. Friday was the last official day for pre-Christmas deliveries by Priority U.S. Mail.

“I have been waiting for stuff to get to my house to get it ready to send back out as gifts, so that’s why I’m so late,” said Mary Snow, in line at a busy Huntsville UPS Store on Friday.

Another customer, Giselle Monroe, opting to ship her presents by UPS after experiencing delays through U.S. Mail.

“It was supposed to take two days and it took two weeks to get there, so I’m just trying to get everything shipped off before Christmas so that it will be on time and there won’t be any disappointments,” said Monroe.

Both UPS and FedEx have deadlines for expedited deliveries coming up on Monday, December 21. After that date, the express options only become more expensive.

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