Business
4:38 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Holiday Shipping Numbers Rise As Online Shopping Becomes More Popular

An increase in deals and consumer confidence is drawing more shoppers to online retailers than ever before, and with this comes an increase in packages.

United States Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley says that they’re seeing a rise in shipments over last holiday season.

“We’re looking at 15 percent above our normal packages we would handle from last year," Kelley said. "We’re doing a couple hundred thousand packages a day here through the Western Pennsylvania district.”

According to Kelley, a late Thanksgiving led to a shortened shopping season for many consumers who are drawn to online marketplaces for their convenience. Kelley said retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have also begun to last over several days allowing for consumers to find better deals.

“E-tailers are really moving people to their online websites to order packages, and there’s been just a wealth of free shipping by most of the retailers out there, so that really is driving our package volumes,” Kelley said.

According to Kelley, anyone who has put off getting those Christmas cards and last minute gifts in the mail are running out of time. Letters will have to be in the mail by Friday to reach their destination by Christmas, while priority packages have until the 21st and the priority express overnight packages can be shipped as late as the 23rd. Kelley recommends checking with your post office branch when shipping to ensure your gifts will arrive on time. USPS will be delivering on Christmas day for an increased rate.

Kelley recommends tightly packing gifts with bubble wrap or other materials, using pressure-sensitive packing tape to seal boxes, checking to make sure the delivery address is correct, and putting a copy of the return and delivery addresses inside the package to ensure packages reach their intended destination safely.

Kelley also asks that residents keep their driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow this holiday to ensure that postal workers can reach their mailbox or doorstep without difficulty.