This year’s holiday shipping season could be the busiest ever, union official says
WARWICK, RI (WPRI) – The holiday season is just a few weeks away, and some postal carriers are offering advice: shop and ship early.
It might seem a bit early, but Matthew Maini, a sales agent at Local Teamsters 251, said the holiday shipping season has already started.
“Peak season starts Oct. 1 and ends Jan. 15 for UPS,” Maini said.
The pandemic has changed the way people shop, Maini said, and it looks like that trend will continue.
“We thought we would see a slope in the numbers, that they would go down, that they would go back to shopping… that didn’t happen,” he explained. More and more people are buying products through their cellphones or apps or iPads rather than going to a store. “
And when it comes to getting your packages to their destination: “We have prepared ourselves. We got equipment, we have new railways, new air flights, so we can speed up the work, ”Maini said.
On peak day in Rhode Island last year, Maini said UPS made about 172,000 stops. This year he thinks they could surpass that.
“We estimate over 215,000 – 220,000 UPS peak day stops in the state of Rhode Island,” he said.
According to Maini, the rates will remain the same and there will be no additional fees or charges for shipping.
But that’s a different story for the United States Postal Service. USPS temporarily increased shipping rates for businesses and retail customers until December 26.
The temporary price increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground are as follows, according to a press release from USPS:
- PM and PME flat rate boxes and envelopes – $ 0.75
- Zones 1-4, 0-10 lb. – $ 0.25
- Zones 5-9, 0-10 lb. – $ 0.75
- Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs. – $ 1.50
- Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs. – $ 3.00
- Zones 1-4, 21-70 lb. – $ 2.50
- Zones 5-9, 21-70 lb. – $ 5.00
All other retail shipping services:
- First Class Package Service – Retail – $ 0.30
FedEx encourages online vacation shoppers to buy early and ship early. Communications Advisor Rae Lyn Rushing released a statement to 12 News, saying:
“FedEx continues to face operational challenges due to tight labor markets, increased parcel volume and the ongoing pandemic. We take bold steps to provide the best possible service to our customers. We are stepping up our efforts to build capacity, which includes a laser-like focus on people, facilities and technology. We strongly encourage all customers who are considering shopping online for the holidays to shop early and ship early! We’re also actively working with merchants to make sure they’re ready. We share tools to give buyers more control over their deliveries, solutions to help streamline the returns process, and tips to help merchants keep their business on track.