published Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Christmas crunch: Today expected to be busiest shipping day of season

Heather Perry prepares to ship wrapped Christmas presents for a customer Wednesday at the UPS Store in Hixson.
Heather Perry prepares to ship wrapped Christmas presents for a customer Wednesday at the UPS Store in Hixson.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Christmas may still be five days away, but Cathy Ingram wanted to make sure Wednesday that Santa's sleigh of toys reached her 9-year-old stepdaughter in Baltimore before Dec. 25, courtesy of UPS.

The Hixson woman was among thousands of Chattanooga area residents who are shipping Christmas gifts this week, the busiest week of the year for package delivery.

"I want to make sure it's there by Christmas," she said as she paid the $55.05 shipping bill for UPS to deliver all of her packages.

Today is expected to be the busiest shipping day of the holiday season for UPS, which expects to deliver 28 million packages today. Mail volume from packages, cards and letters peaked Monday for the U.S. Postal Service, which delivered 658 million pieces of mail at the start of the week. This also is the busiest week for FedEx, which reported higher revenues but lower earnings on Wednesday.

To ensure delivery by Christmas:

Postal Service

* Today: Last day to ship first-class mail for Christmas arrival.

* Saturday: Last day for most Express Mail to arrive by Christmas.

UPS

* Today: Last day for most 2-day delivery by Christmas.

* Friday: Deadline for UPS Next Day Air for Christmas.

FedEx

* Today: Christmas deadline for shipping FedEx 2Day delivery.

* Friday: Last day to ship for standard overnight or priority overnight.

* Christmas Day: FedEx SameDay is available in some markets.

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