It looks like if you want Christmas gifts on-time this year and plan on ordering online, you should probably do it sooner rather than later.

Since the pandemic hit, delivery services like UPS, the USPS, FedEx, etc, are seeing demand like they've never seen before.  Now that the holidays are coming up and stores are spreading out their Black Friday deals throughout the holiday season, this will only compound the issue of an already busy parcel delivery force.

According to CNN, what is being seen already during the pandemic when it comes to delivery service use as been quite a surprise to the delivery companies and is actually activity that was not anticipated until years from now.

CNN is reporting that parcel delivery companies have added an incredible amount of new hires with UPS reporting adding 39,000 new permanent workers in the middle of 2020.  FedEx is anticipating adding 70,000 workers.  More are planned to be hired as seasonal workers. But, delivery services are still unsure of how things are going to go down.

CNN interviewed a freight auditor and analyzer, Hannah Testani, we gives us an educated guess as to when most Americans should order their gifts in order to receive them in time for Christmas this year, which is December 1st.  That's almost a full month before the actual holiday.

Maine residents, especially those in Northern Maine, should plan to order early due to further delivery points drivers must drive to get to and from destinations.  These rural areas are often termed as 'the final mile' in the delivery industry.

UPS had talked about the use of drones to help out delivery drivers but, we haven't really seen those in effect in the year of the pandemic.  Almost seems like a missed opportunity, frankly.  These drones were touted to be great for those 'hard-to-reach' locations in rural areas, with one article on UPS.com stating, "rural areas may have the most operation need for drones..." due to "these places (are) where UPS drivers have the longest routes with lower so-called "stop density", compared with urban areas where we can drop off many items at one address."

So plan early and get to shopping and shipping sooner rather than later, Mainers, to ensure your holiday gifts are on time this year.