Online shopping reaches historic high, putting pressure on shipping companies

According to a new study, online sales are expected to increase by 30% as consumers stay away from brick-and-mortar stores because of the pandemic. Sales are expected to top $221 billion in the United States.

Amazon already says this is already its biggest holiday shopping season for them, and it's only the first week of December. While the company doesn't release actual sales figures for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it says more people have been shopping early for gifts and seasonal items.

Analysts say Amazon will be one of the biggest winners this holiday season, estimating it could capture 42 cents of every dollar spent this winter.

All of this online shopping translates to a hectic holiday season for the U.S. Postal Service. The week of Dec. 14 through the 21st are expected to be the peak time for mailing, shipping and deliveries.

To keep up with the surge in online shopping, USPS is expanding Sunday deliveries in some areas with high package volume. Meanwhile, UPS and FedEx are ramping up their holiday hiring to help deal with the influx of packages.

Above all, shipping companies and the USPS are saying this year that people cannot procrastinate when it comes to shipping.

Their advice: make sure everything is shipped by Dec 15, and for priority express or mail, the cut-off is Dec. 23.