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Waiting to ship presents or buy online? Customers say don't procrastinate

Posted at 7:27 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 19:28:06-05

If you're trying to ship a package or you're just waiting to order a Christmas gift by mail, you better act fast.

Cyber Monday has put a strain on deliveries and drivers with FedEx, UPS and USPS are working overtime to get your orders to you by Christmas!

UPS experienced some major delays this week, which they attributed to sheer amount of Cyber Monday sales. While things are back to normal, customers are saying it's still best not to procrastinate.

Heidi Brigham of West Palm Beach tried thinking ahead by sending her Christmas gift to family in Japan a month and a half early.

"I have my son in law in the military, he's in the marine corps, along with my daughter and grandchild, with another one on the way!" she said.

But she's still waiting for that package to arrive, even though she sent it on Nov. 14. She showed us the three page long tracking record, which shows the gift leaving San Francisco by boat over a week ago.

"It took more than two weeks just to get out of the state of Florida," she said. "I just mailed another package praying and hoping that it gets there in time as well."

She blames the delay on high demand from online orders and the need for shipping packages.

"These are Christmas presents going to our military and it's really important that they get there," she said.

That's the reality for the shipping industry right now. 

UPS told WPTV they expect to deliver about about 750 million packages this holiday season, which 5 percent more than last year. That's 40 million additional packages.

"Through a combination of new capacity and seasonal hiring, UPS expects to process nearly double the normal average daily volume of more than 19 million packages and documents. UPS customers can be confident that UPS is taking the necessary steps to ensure the network operates with its customary dependable performance throughout the holiday season," said UPS spokesman Matthew O'Connor.

If you were a part of that hiccup with UPS this week, we're told that they brought in extra staff to clear up that backlog so deliveries should be back on time.

But keep in mind, most companies are processing nearly double the normal daily volume. Even the US Postal Service is delivering 10 percent more this year than last year.

FedEx spokesman Chris Allen told WPTV that so far they're keeping up with record demand.

"We plan and collaborate closely with our customers year round and engineer our networks to be ready to meet the significant surge in demand for residential deliveries," he said in a statement. "FedEx is well-positioned to meet anticipated record demand and we look forward to helping deliver the holidays for our customers around the world."

However, some people like Theodore Stamatopoulos of Miami are trying to avoid dealing with packages altogether.

"I actually prefer going to the store and picking stuff out for Christmas," he said. "That way I can avoid the hassle, I try to avoid it as much as I can."

We caught up with Lola Harris at the USPS office in West Palm Beach as she was shipping gifts to her grandchildren in Massachusetts. She thinks this will be her last year to deal with shipping packages.

"After this, everybody gets a check," she joked. "Especially when you're 85 years old and trying to do it all. It's very difficult."

So if you want your Christmas cheer to make it in time, customers are saying  not to wait.

"Get it out there early. That's the best you can do. And keep your fingers crossed," said Brigham.