This time of year is the busy season for shoppers – and package carriers alike.
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday season for us," UPS driver Kevin Moore told FOX Television Stations. "Things are busy around here … and it will just get increasingly more busy throughout the holiday season."
Whether you’re expecting packages from your post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz or holiday gifts from your loved ones, keeping these tips in mind will help make your delivery driver’s job easier.
All told, the parcel industry has a capacity of delivering more than 120 million parcels compared to a projected holiday peak of 82 million per day, slightly less than last year, Satish Jindel from ShipMatrix told The Associated Press.
But that’s not a green light to procrastinate.
In fact, the United States Postal Service’s number one tip for the season is to send your packages early.
That helps manage the drivers’ workflows, as well as your wallet in avoiding expedited shipping fees.
Moore shared the same sentiment. "I really recommend taking the time to shop earlier, plan ahead, to have a stress-free holiday season."
File image of a United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) driver pushes a trolley with Amazon boxes during a delivery in New York. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Utilize online tools
The USPS, UPS and FedEx all offer online tools that can ease some shopping and gift-giving anxieties that creep in this time of year.
With USPS, you can schedule a free carrier pickup directly from your home or office and avoid a trip to the post office.
DoorDash also rolled out a new feature this year where a driver will pick up your prepaid packages from wherever you are and drop them off at a local UPS, FedEx or post office for a $5 flat fee.
Waiting for an important delivery? FedEx and UPS both offer free up-to-date alerts on incoming packages and give a delivery window, which can help ensure a smooth delivery if a signature is required. Photo proof of delivery is available as well, which can help reduce the risk of theft.
Prepare for your delivery
Moore offered several tips that help make his job easier: "You can definitely help us out if you’re receiving a package."
"It's really helpful if you have an address that we can easily see from the street while approaching. Unobstructed walkways, well-lit, because we'll be working into the later hours this time of year – a porch light is very helpful," he said.
For those in colder climates, remember to shovel your walk path and clear away any ice on your porch for your letter carrier or if you’re expecting a delivery soon.
And if you need to sign for something, putting pets away before you open the door is beneficial to both parties.
Thank your driver
"It would be nice for customers to know how much we love our customers and we try to not let them down," Moore expressed.
And for all their work and long days, a little thank you does go a long way.
Adding an extra dollar or two to your driver’s tip on DoorDash or UberEats will really help your driver feel appreciated.
Leaving out water and snacks is common and also always appreciated, something Moore has encountered a few times in his 32-year career. Even seeing a note saying "thank you" would bring a smile.
"Those are the small tokens of appreciation that help us realize how important we are to the community. And it definitely helps us get through our day."
This story was reported from Detroit.