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Shipping services swamped during holiday season, topped with pandemic



MINOT, N.D – “The sooner you get here the better, it’s only gonna save you a little money which is always nice around the holidays,” Manager of Minot UPS store, Marshall Knaup said.

With a 22% rise in online shopping, shipping services like UPS are seeing more traffic than usual during the Christmas season, and the pandemic on top of that has only added more.

“We’re seeing people ship stuff to either your Bismarck’s, your Fargo’s, your Grand Forks, that normally they would probably take there, if they’re going on a weekend trip or going for the holidays or this year people are kinda hunkering down and staying home and they’re having to ship it,” Knaup added.

Both UPS and FedEx have suspended their money-back guarantees related to delivery delays due to the pandemic, and the U.S. Postal Service has pushed customers to use their online self-services to cut lines at the counter.

“You can order free boxes you can print labels, pay for postage and even then schedule for a time when the postal service can come to your home to pick up the packages that you’ve prepared,” USPS Strategic Communication Specialist, Floyd Wagoner said.

The Postal Service delivered 143 billion pieces of mail last year, and Wagoner says the busiest week of the year in terms of traffic is coming up.

“December 7th today starts the busiest traffic season and then the 14th to the 21st of December is the busiest traffic week for packages at the Post Office,” Wagoner said.

And many people have already started shipping their cards and presents.

“Last couple weeks have already gotten real busy for us. I think people are just kinda getting ahead of the game maybe they’re doing a little more online shopping,” Knaup said.

This holiday season that seems to be the motto.

“Shop early and ship now there is going to be a tremendous amount of volume when it comes to holiday packages and gifts being sent through the mail whether locally, statewide or across the United States or the world,” Wagoner said.

And, if you want your packages delivered by December 25th, The Postal Services says they have to be in the mail by December 15th.