Holiday shipping on the rise as Christmas closes in

NEW HANOVER & BRUNSWICK COUNTIES (WWAY) — With just ten days until Christmas, the countdown is on for folks shipping gifts by the 25th.

Scores of people swarmed local post offices and shipping companies Wednesday, trying to beat the crowds to send their Christmas gifts.

“I’ve been coming here every day this week for work, and its been crowded,” said Nicholas Horvath as he shipped a gift to his friend in Pennsylvania.
Accorder to local, Sally Meserole, “The last time I was here, it was about a week ago, and the line was significant.”

Local UPS owner, Elizabeth Hester said the rush started Black Friday and should continue to grow until December 21, when shipping by Christmas costs will go up. She was surprised the holiday shipping rush is as strong as ever this year.

“We wondered about after the pandemic, would it fall off? Would it pick up with inflation? But we’re seeing people ship,” Hester said. “They’re shipping like normal.”

Countless gift givers, like Michaela Wood, made a trip to the Post Office or UPS Wednesday to ensure their presents make it under the tree.

“I sent one to Sarasota, Florida, one to Port Saint Lucia, Florida, and one to Brevard, North Carolina,” said Wood.
Meserole continued, “But I also heard that today’s the last day they can guarantee that maybe the packages will get there on time. So I’m going to see if they’re good to their word.”

Lines stayed consistent in FedEx, USPS, and UPS Wednesday, some reaching the front door.

“We’re keeping a line pretty much at all times,” said Hester. “It’s not around the sidewalk, like say at the post office or somewhere that’s swamped. Because we’re a privately owned store, we can staff to get people in and out even with the rush. But we’re definitely in the holiday rush.”

USPS recommends sending Christmas cards by Friday if you want to get them to your destination by Christmas. But if you’re sending a package, there’s no time to waste. The U.S. Postal Service and FedEx set Wednesday the 15th as the last day they can guarantee packages are home for the holidays at no extra charge.

If you ship using UPS, Hester recommends sending packages by the 20th to the middle of the country or closer, and by the 18th if across the country.

Those who braved Wednesday’s lines are happy though their presence won’t be there, their gifts will.

“I was nervous that I wasn’t going to make it in time,” said a relieved shipper. “It seems like we’re good to go.”

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