COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – If you still need to ship a gift to a loved one before the holidays, head out sooner rather than later. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some folks are still not traveling to see loved ones this holiday season and are left shipping gifts.

Matt Rendina has been with UPS in Columbus for two years, where he says they are experiencing the typical holiday influx of customers and packages. While the holidays are always a busy time, Reninda says this year is different compared to last, “About the middle of November is when we started picking up and more people started coming in to get things in ahead of the holidays, because last year it was like the first week of December when we just got slammed.”

On Dec. 13 alone, there were nearly 1,000 packages that came through the UPS on Bradley Park Drive.

With this influx, delays can be expected. FedEx, UPS, and The United States Postal Service recommend using their online tracking services to follow the progress of your packages, as phone lines are extremely busy.

For folks still looking to ship out packages in time for the holidays, ground shipping is no longer guaranteed by Christmas, but UPS Associates say you still have time, “coming up this next week, you’ve got two-day air and next day air, are going to be the only ways to make sure your stuff gets there before Christmas and on time.”

Shipping services want to do their best to get your packages where they need to be on time but are asking for customers’ cooperation.

“If you’re in line and you’re waiting and you’re being impatient and you’re stressed, it’s only going to make us more stressed and only going to make it harder for us to do our job … give us some courtesy, we’re working our hardest, to get what y’all need done.”