The annual 30% to 40% holiday surge in package delivery is coming on top of a 30% increase that started in March as the pandemic kept people home. That’s straining an already-hustling delivery supply chain.

Less than a week remains until Christmas, and if you haven’t ordered all of your holiday gifts yet, it may be too late to ship them in time. A huge increase in online shopping this year as demand for package delivery exceeded capacity this holiday season and stretched the delivery supply chain thin.

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The deluge of packages has many package sorting, distribution, and delivery workers at the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and Amazon busier than they have ever been before. “It’s crazy but with the COVID, it’s a little bit crazier, you know,” said Paul Jablonski, a driver for UPS, while on his route on Chicago’s Northwest Side one recent evening.

I actually just had another [delivery] guy take some stuff off of me because they sent me out too heavy,” meaning Jablonski was given more packages than he could deliver in one shift.

“They sent me out with like 280 [packages] today,” he explained. “Normal day, without Christmastime, it’s like maybe 200, 190, and I can finish in about 8 hours. But 280 is too much; way too much.”

Jablonski says the holidays are always hectic, but for the 24-year-old “this one’s been a lot worse mainly ‘cuz of the COVID.” He says in the early days and weeks of the pandemic when much of the economy shut down and many people began working and schooling from home, there was a huge increase in package deliveries that made it seem like “it was basically Christmastime” in March. “And now it’s gonna be twice that,” with the surge in holiday package deliveries, he added.

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Article Credit: NPR News