CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Time is ticking. There are only 20 days left before Christmas.
While shoppers usually have four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year there's only three; meaning shoppers and shipping companies are under a deadline during their busiest season.
UPS representatives said Wednesday December 4, 2013 has been the busiest day they've seen so far this year. That's all because of the Internet shopping people did on Cyber Monday is catch up to the shipping companies today.
"We have 3 at this stop," said UPS driver Mike Colon.
Colon has worked at UPS for 25 years.
"A lot of times I stretch in the morning when I get up, get some of my joints loose get ready for a long day," Colon said. "Christmas season the volume is more heavier."
Steve Mumma is the business manager for the UPS location in Scott City.
He said on December 4 they saw 45 percent more business than they see on a typical day. But he also said they expect at least four busier days this holiday season.
"They usually get more guys on the road working to handle the volume that's coming in," Colon said.
Mumma said they've hired an additional eight drivers, and an extra 30 people to help make deliveries.
"If you see a UPS truck out there today chances are there is going to be another person on it, two people riding on it to help get the deliveries off the car," Mumma said.
The company uses rental box trucks for the extra drivers.
A computer tells workers where to place the packages in the truck for most efficient and quickest delivery.
"I'm making sure I have all 3 packages for the stop before I get out and close the door," Colon said.
Mumma said the drivers use mapping technology to plan the routes and simple driving strategies like making mostly right hand turns.
Mumma said he right hand turns make the routes quicker, help save on gas, and can actually be a safer drive. With 200,000 UPS drivers on the road each day, that can be a lot of fuel and time saved.
"If you set your route out to make right hand turns, you avoid that delay, and with a driver delivering 200 stops in a day those little delays over 200 stops can add up," Mumma said.
"It's helpful because you don't want to be sitting, if you try to make a left coming out of a turn you've got to wait for both sides of the traffic to be clear before you can turn, when you're making mostly right hand turns, you only have to wait for traffic on one side of the street," Colon said.
Colon said talking to the customers is the best part of the job, and during this busy season he might get to see those customers more than normal.
Severe winter weather can set back UPS drivers. So, Mumma encourages shoppers to order early. But he said they'll deliver right up to Christmas Eve to make sure your package gets there before Christmas Day.