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Holiday shipping deadline approaches but delays are still expected

Two trucks catch fire at Orange Ave post office
Posted at 5:28 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 18:58:58-05

CLEVELAND — In what may become one of the busiest weeks for shipping packages in history, deadlines are quickly approaching for the United States Postal Service to have your holiday packages and cards arrive in time for Christmas.

Stretched thin because of the ongoing pandemic and sheer record volume of packages and mail, long lines of parked semi-tractor trailers were a common occurrence outside the USPS distribution center south of downtown over the weekend. Dozens of drivers reported waiting several hours and, in some cases, days before they could make their deliveries.

"When I saw the news, honestly, I thought it was about another city. I did not think it about it being Cleveland with all those trucks," said Tonya Dixon. "There was that one guy who spent 16 hours or something in the truck. I couldn’t believe that. Wow."

Dixon went to the post office on Orange Avenue Monday afternoon to deliver a stack of holiday cards to her friends and family. Although the shipping deadline for first-class and priority mail isn't until Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 respectively, Dixon wasn't going to take any chances.

"I’m counting the days. We're close to 10 days out," Dixon said. "I hope they get there. I love my family."

Experts project as many as three billion packages are expected to be delivered this holiday season, shattering previous records by 800 million. However, as many as seven to eight million packages per day could be delayed, according to ShipMatrix, a leading shipping analytics firm.