Nationwide and right here in the Rockford area, UPS workers get set for their busiest shipping day of the year. Right now they're easing into the rush, already working long hours and making more stops.
How would you feel taking on twice the work load you already have? For 18-year veteran UPS driver and service provider Patrick Lacey, that's just another day during the holiday season.
"You can go out with double the stops you normally go out with but you know it's that time of the year, we expect that." -says Lacey with a smile.
He loves seeing customers get excited for their holiday deliveries.
"They hear that truck coming down the street, they actually have the whole family at the door in some cases." -he boasts.
UPS peak season usually lasts from Thanksgiving to Christmas but this year is different.
"We started off pretty busy early, I would say about a week or so earlier than we normally do." -Lacey says.
Company reps say between the two holidays, UPS will deliver more than half a billion packages and they've got a full work force on-hand.
"There are no vacations taken between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's all hands on deck and that's what we expect, we consider ourselves Santa's helpers." -says UPS Communications Supervisor Christine Hand.
Lacey doesn't mind the extra work, but it does take away time with loved ones.
"The most difficult thing I guess is to be away from the family a little longer than you normally do because you're getting in much later than before and in the case where drivers have kids the kids are already going to bed and you'll have to see them the next morning."
Earlier we reported...
If you've ever wondered how your holiday packages reach their intended destination, the United Parcel Service is giving you a behind-the-scenes look.
UPS allowed a WREX camera to ride along with a driver delivering packages during the company's busiest season. The shipping company expects to deliver 28 million packages on its peak delivery day of December 20, almost 80 percent more than a typical day's volume.
Service Provider Patrick Lacey commented, "We spend all year getting ready for this, kind of related to being a regular season and then we got our what we call 'playoffs', and this is the time of the year for our playoffs."
Six-hundred seasonal employees were hired by UPS in Rockford this year.
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