By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Cyber Monday is expected to set records for online shopping. This comes on the heels of a 22% jump of online sales on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics.

So, what should shoppers expect for this year? When should you ship by?

“This is not the year to wait until the last minute,” UPS spokesperson Dawn Wotapka said.

This year, all the big shippers are recommending shoppers order and ship early. That’s what some small businesses, like Paulette Bonneur’s Harper & Hunter LLC, are hoping for as well.

“I think one of the most important things to remember is to get your items in early,” Bonneur said. “We want to get everything out to you and your family so you can enjoy this holiday season because we know how much it means.”

According to shipping consulting company ShipMatrix, three billion packages will be sent between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That’s 800 million more than last year.

“The capacity is not enough to handle the demand,” said ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel.

Jindel estimates that there will be seven million packages a day over capacity, which means some packages could be delayed by a day or two.

The shipping companies say they’re ready for increased demand.

“With more than 500,000 dedicated team members, the strength and reach of our global network, and a significant investment in our facilities and fleet, we are well positioned to meet the peak demand,” said Shannon Davis Ford, a communications advisor for FedEx.

Each of the big shippers have announced their deadlines for delivery before Christmas:

Each of the shipping companies also offer more expensive options closer to Dec. 25.

Jindel said it’s also important to note that the COVID vaccine is expected to ship in the second half of December, which could use some shipping capacity. According to FedEx, they’ll use two network to ship both the vaccines and packages, which will allow them to deliver them both quickly and safely. The vaccines will be delivered primarily by the planes with time-definite and cold-chain capabilities. The holiday packages will ship primarily through the ground network.

“The distinction means that each will have the dedicated resources they need to deliver quickly and safely,” Ford said.

Heather Brown