Though it looks like chaos from an outsider's point of view, the UPS's busiest shipping week of the year is actually organized chaos.
Monday is a record-setting day at the UPS consolidation hub in Hodgkins with 2.5 million packages heading through a space that's as big as 37 football fields and almost 600 UPS drivers leaving the facility with packages.
Worldwide UPS will deliver a record 135 million packages this week alone.
"We prepare for this day all year," UPS's Hodgkins operations manager Toy Ann McCray said. "Right now we plan on processing 2.5 million packages and in the small sort we will process 300,000 packages today."
The important date for gift-givers is Dec. 21. That's the last day to ship a gift, using next-day air, to make sure it arrives in time for Christmas.
If you're using the postal service, the last day to send something using first-class mail is this Thursday. Packages move very quickly, so be sure to pack your packages securely and, McCray advises to label them on the outside and inside as a precaution.