Courtesy FedEx

If you procrastinated shipping those Christmas gifts, or you're waiting for a delivery to arrive, don't count on it getting there in time.

The U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx all say they are experiencing extreme increases in the volume of packages thanks to pandemic restrictions, along with staff shortages due to COVID-19.

An estimated six million packages a day are piling up in warehouses and shipping centers and awaiting pick up, with another 3.5 million packages picked up daily but not reaching their destinations on time, according to an analysis of shipping data by CBS News.

The postal service's on-time delivery rates dropped to just over 86% in the third week of December, down from 93% three weeks ago.

FedEx says the pandemic has created record-breaking shipment volumes.

"As more people shop online to avoid crowds in stores, those numbers have grown even more. This has created shipping volumes that are taxing logistics networks nationwide, which may cause delays," the company said in a statement.

Last week's snowstorm in the northeast and icy conditions in the Mid-Atlantic have also created disruptions for both inbound and outbound shipments, FedEx says.

Despite the delays, the postal service, UPS and FedEx are all accepting and delivering packages right up through Christmas Eve, so there's always a sliver of hope for an arrival by Christmas Day.


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