Winter storms in the north could delay some Christmas package deliveries

Posted at 7:29 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 18:26:40-05

Time is running out for anyone who wants to be sure mailed gifts will arrive by Christmas. But postal workers and shipping companies are warning customers to get packages in the mail before the posted deadlines, because there could be cases where even those packages sent out on time don't make it to their destination by December 25.

Thursday marked the last day Post Office customers were guaranteed their packages would make it for Christmas if they used standard shipping. Now, customers will have to pay more for priority and priority express shipping as the holiday gets closer.

At shipping stores that use FedEx and UPS, customers can wait a little longer, but the deadline for standard shipping is coming soon there as well.

"Monday is probably going to be, you don't want to wait any longer than that," said Norman Froscher, owner of Espresso Mail in West Palm Beach.

Froscher says the latest people should use ground shipping is Monday. He says UPS and FedEx are working overtime to get everything delivered on time.

"You'll see UPS trucks out at 8:00 or 9:00 at night delivering, especially next week," Froscher said. "And my FedEx drivers, the ground drivers, they're two to a truck right now."

Froscher says bad weather can slow them down, however.

"If they get a blizzard or snow, that will affect the trucks and the planes being able to land," he said.

As of Friday afternoon, snowstorms across the Midwest weren't having much of an effect on deliveries. Snow only delayed some package deliveries in North Dakota.

Froscher says anyone who plans to send packages up north should get them in as soon as possible, however, in case there are any more winter storms next week.

"If they have a real severe weather front next week, that will actually affect it," he said, "Which is all the more reason, if you can, not to procrastinate, get it in and get it done early."