Delivery workers in final crunch as shipping deadlines loom ahead of Christmas

Packages loaded up for delivery by UPS
Packages loaded up for delivery by UPS(WANF)
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 10:43 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 1:27 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Santa Claus is coming to town in five days and that means there is a limited amount of time to ship gifts to get under the tree in time.

Folks at the UPS Delivery Center in Roswell have been sorting through deliveries since 1 a.m. Tuesday.

“I think every driver probably feels like Santa,” said Megan Carr, a district manager for UPS.

UPS sees double the number of packages this time of year.

“Oh, it’s crunch time in here, so when we get started right away - it’s go time,” said UPS employee Alex Brown.

Wednesday is the company’s most hectic day.

“Busiest day. I’m not looking forward to it but hey, I’m here, let’s do it,” said Brown.

How do the gifts get from point A to point B on time? Every employee is a part of the process.

“We have prepared by staffing up all of the buildings, making sure all of the seasonal hires are in place and ready to go,” said Carr.

“I run the console, and the console basically controls all the belts in the building. So, I look at all of the cameras, make sure we don’t have any jams, make sure all the packages are flowing correctly, and making sure all the sorters are getting packages to the right belts,” said Brown.

For the past five years, UPS has been the leading on-time performer for delivery companies. Part of that is having strict deadlines for when packages need to be shipped.

Tuesday is the last day to mail packages through UPS’ 3-day select service. Wednesday is the last day to send gifts by their 2nd-day air and Dec. 22 is the last day to take advantage of UPS’ next-day air packages.

“Everybody wants to be happy on Christmas. You know, nobody wants to be left out without their packages or anything. So, we have to get it out on time, make sure everything is executed on time,” said Brown.

Deadlines for other delivery services: For the U.S. Postal Service, they’re past the deadlines for ground and first-class mail, as well as for priority mail. But Friday is the last day to ship priority mail express for FedEx, and Tuesday is the last day to send via express saver or FedEx three-day freight services. Wednesday is the last day for FedEx’s two-day and one-day freight services.

The shipping chaos here will slow down back to normal this weekend but around New Year’s, things will pick back up as people ship their returns.