Shipping companies rush to deliver gifts by Christmas

Local News

Shoppers are rushing to get last-minute gifts in time for Christmas and shipping companies are expecting this to be a record year.

There are about 134 million Americans expected to hit stores in person or online Saturday.

At the UPS headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, the planes keep coming and the packages never stop moving.

“It’s the World Series, it’s the superbowl, it’s the world cup, take your pick. This is what we plan for all year,” said UPS worker Jim Mayer.

The company expects to make around 800 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and Christmas, peaking at a record 37 million in a single day — nearly double a normal day.

Mayer said e-commerce is the reason.

“It’s been a sea change. When was the last time you went to a department store? You’re online now,” he said. “As soon as that purchase is made, a shipping label is created and then that package is on its way.”

On the 155 miles of conveyer belts, the packages wind their way through the 5.2 million square foot facility. The codes on boxes direct the belt to drop them in just the right bag in less than 20 minutes. Those bags then get loaded onto a plane and head on their way to customers.

On a normal day, World Port is busy. More than 300 flights come and go from here. But this week, the week before Christmas, that more than doubles to some 700 flights a day.

“We can never replace Santa Clause, but we certainly can supplement Santa Claus’ delivery schedule,” said Captain Sean Horton.

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