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FOX43 Finds Out: Will the COVID-19 vaccine shipment impact holiday shipping deadlines?

Record online shopping sales, social distancing, the shipment of a covid-19 vaccine, and weather will all have an impact on our gifts arriving on time this year.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Shipping experts say all the major delivery service companies are in for an interesting year.

At every turn, there is something that could derail your package from arriving before Christmas.

Record online shopping sales, social distancing, the shipment of a covid-19 vaccine, oh and you can't forget about the weather.

FOX43 Finds Out what you need to know to make sure your gifts arrive on time this year.

Experts predict 3 billion packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That's 800 million more than last year.

That, on top of everything else 2020 has brought us, is causing some shipment delays on your gifts.

Carson Krieg, is the Co-founder of Convey. He said, "So if you can just imagine, two of out every 10 packages you order over the next couple of weeks are going to be late."

Krieg looks at a lot of shipping data.

He says this year, just about every major delivery service is reporting delays, except for one.

"The only person who was well suited enough to handle this holiday season is Amazon, that's because they've already been making those investments in their supply chain," said Krieg.

He says while places like FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service all tried to hire record numbers of season workers - it still doesn't mean you'll get your package before Christmas.

"It's not enough, even though it's a crazy large number," said Krieg.

However, a USPS spokesperson for Central Pennsylvania, Desai Abdul-Razzahq, says our area is doing ok.

"I put out a press release to hire 300+ people, so we were looking for 300+ seasonal help and I think we just about got what we needed. So the people are there and we're ready to deliver for you."

The President of analytics company Shipmatrix, Satish Jindel, says there are two main things that could derail holiday shipments. 

 "What is unknown is how the demand for delivery of vaccines is going to consume the capacity and weather."

COVID-19 vaccines are expected to ship any day now, and it could coincide with the busiest shipping week of the year, which starts on December 14th. 

The vaccine shipments will likely get priority, meaning your gifts could get the bump.

However, if you ship or order now, you will still likely get your packages before Christmas eve.

RELATED: Walmart drops $35 free shipping minimum for its members' online orders

While most delivery services say December 15th is the deadline, shipping experts say that the deadline should be right now. 

This is not the year to be falling for those last-minute sales tactics. 

"Don't get tempted that you will have a better promotion because the savings you may get in the promotion will be offset by the express shipping you'll have to pay," said Jindel.

RELATED: Online shopping surge could lead to holiday delivery delays

If you haven't finished your shopping and wrapping today, it's ok. 

if you're shopping online, see if you can pick up the item in a store or even do curbside pick up, that way you know the product is already there.

as for those procrastinators relying on things like amazon's two-day prime shipping to save them this year, experts say don't order something on the 22nd and expect it on Christmas eve. 

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com  

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