(KERO) — The holiday season is approaching.
We still have a few months to go and the U.S. Postal Service says you should start buying and sending gifts as soon as possible.
Christmas is 102 days away.
And if you recall the 2020 shopping and shipping mania.
“It was a crazy year, we had an awful lot of packages that just kept coming and coming,” said James Boxrud, Communication specialist for the postal service.
Experts say you’ll want to break out your planner and your wallet in advance.
“The days of just last minute of everything coming together, it’s not the world we live in anymore,” said Jack Buffington, a professor of supply chains.
In 2020, the U.S. Postal Service experienced a 48% increase across the nation on top of their normal Christmas volume delaying some packages for weeks.
“I know for Christmas I think some were arriving like a month later,” said shopper Alexis Kincaid.
The pandemic pushed people online in record numbers.
What can you expect this shopping season?
“You should expect higher price increase, significantly, because companies are carrying more inventory, fuel costs are rising and we are still having a significant problem at our ocean ports,” said Jack Buffington, a professor of supply chains.
You can also expect to pay more to ship your gifts.
For the second year, USPS is increasing shipping rates on select products between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26 to help prevent delays.
“We know a lot of people were kept waiting,” said James Boxrud, Communication specialist for the postal service.
USPS began preparing in January, expanding storage space and adding technology.
“As part of our 10 year plan we’ve invested in 112 package processing machines throughout the nation and Colorado springs got one, denver’s gotten one and this is really going to go ahead and help us process packages a lot faster,” said James Boxrud, Communication specialist for the postal service.
Like many businesses USPS is experiencing staff shortages and they’re looking to hire nearly 900 employees people across the front range to keep up with demand.
If you’re flexible on time, brands and prices…experts say you could save some cash.