BRYAN, TEXAS — Are you planning on shipping gifts or packages this holiday season? If so, you may want to get a move on it if you haven't already.
Local shipping retailers say they are seeing an increase in business, not only due an increase in online shopping amid the pandemic, but also due to the fast-approaching holiday season.
That online boost has left the shipping industry moving as fast as they can. Residents in the Brazos Valley are making sure they beat the last-minute surge.
"I waited until the last minute last year, and not only was I worried they weren't going to get there, they were a lot more expensive," said Kate Mason of Bryan.
"Even this past week, we had people already shipping Christmas gifts just trying to get it done early and get their shopping done, just to make sure everything arrives in a timely manner before Christmas," said Becky Cochener, Sr. VP of Operations at Postal Plus.
One of Postal Plus' customers and one of the early gift-senders is Kate Mason. Even though her gifts aren't leaving the Lone Star State, she dropped her packages off already to make sure they arrived on time.
"We want to make sure those kids have something to open on Christmas Day, not the day after. They are in Amarillo, which may as well be out of state," Mason added.
Local shipping and supply retailer Postal Plus has been family-owned for 30 years. They say they have seen an increase in business and are happy for it.
"We have seen a tremendous increase. Of course around the holidays we have an increase, but this year even more so. Probably about 30% or 40% more so. A lot of it actually started once COVID hit," Cochener said. "We saw a lot of people come in to the store because they wanted to get in and get out because they did not want to wait in long lines, and so that trend has just persisted as we move into the holidays."
Cochener says tracking your package should be a priority when shipping gifts. To make sure you aren't breaking the bank, be sure your packages are in the correct box.
"A lot of times people don't realize that they are going to charge based on the box size and not necessarily the weight, so you really want to be cognizant of both of those things," she said.
"For our domestic shippers, we suggest that if you are sending it by retail ground December 15th. Our first class mail is December 18th. Our priority mail is December 19th. December 23rd is our drop dead date for our guarantee on priority mail express. We anticipate that our busiest mailing and delivery week will be December 14th thru 20th, so get those items in so you can beat the holiday rush," said Kanickewa Nikki Johnson, a Strategic Communications Specialist with the United States Postal Service.
Johnson also says the USPS is anticipating that this will be one of their busier years.
"Because we do know that people are staying at home and have been doing a lot of shopping since the onset of COVID, we have increased our staffing to handle that surge and package increase," she said.
Johnson also stresses the importance of addressing your items properly to ensure they arrive where they are meant to.