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Holiday shipping delays in Arkansas caused by COVID-19 and winter storm

Many people have received notifications in their email informing them about delays.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Time is running out to ship packages in time for Christmas.

According to ShipMatrix, a software company that helps retailers track shipments, an estimated 6-million packages are sitting in warehouses or waiting to be picked up by major carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Don’t be surprised if you walk into your local post office and see some very long lines.

“I came down to check my mail and check on some packages that have come in. They got here great, on time, and everything’s good," Lisa Miller of Fayetteville said.

Miller is one of the lucky ones. A revolving door of customers is concerned they won’t get their gifts before Christmas.

“I’m actually still waiting on a couple of gifts that were sent to us, but it’ll just be a little extra surprise after Christmas if it doesn’t get there in time," Courtney Lindsay said.

Beth Mooney, an Etsy shop owner from Clarksville, says packages she shipped out using the postal service 10 days ago appear to be lost in transit.

“I check tacking for them, and I keep in contact and explain that it’s out of my hands because I know how backed up the postal service is. Everybody so far has been very understanding," Mooney said.

A spokesperson for the USPS says they have faced unprecedented challenges this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a large winter storm hitting the northeast.

“If you notice there is a delay in your package and making it to your destination, you can reach out to the local post office, and they would be happy to assist with some information to provide you with the tracking," Kanickewa Johnson, Media Communications Specialist USPS, said. 

A spokesperson for UPS told CBS news that 96% of its shipments have arrived on time this holiday season.

FedEx says its role in delivering the Pfizer vaccine is not impacting deliveries.

“Just give it time, give it patience, and if you have the option, pay for the upgraded shipping to go through UPS or FedEx. Try to get it to stay out of the postal service. Right now, at least," Mooney said.

Mooney says she knows everyone in the U.S. shipping industry is working extra hard this year to make your holiday a merry one.

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