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    UPS Drivers Prepare For Holidays


    With the holiday season, there is an increase in UPS packages being shipped all over the world. To compensate for this growth, delivery drivers pick up extra hours to ensure that gifts are delivered in a timely manner.

    According to, UPS predicts to deliver more than 630 million packages during the holiday season, which is requiring them to hire 95,000 extra delivery drivers. For UPS driver, Tim Baker, who delivers in Mechanicsville off the 360 Turnpike, this means extra hours, physical exhaustion, but also great reward.

    “I do not get to see my family much during the week because they are usually in bed by the time I get home. It also creates a toll on my body and I get tired by the end of the week. It can also be stressful dealing with all of the traffic,” Baker said. “I would not trade it for the world though; UPS is a great company to work for. The extra hours also means more money and higher job security because if people keep ordering, that means I keep delivering.”

    Baker, like many other UPS drivers, works around a 12-hour shift, five days a week during the holiday season to ensure customer satisfaction. He must also work at a very fast pace to deliver over 200 packages daily. UPS even offers Next Day Air deliveries, which promises one day shipping, or they pay for the shipping fee.

    At PGHS, the front office receives daily packages at around 2:00 PM by the same driver. Full-time drivers make the same route every shift, which may vary greatly. Those who are assigned a rural route may make around 60 or 70 stops a day and drive over 200 miles. However, if a driver is assigned a city route, the driver may make around 200 stops a day while only driving 60 or 70 miles.

    The years of experience the driver has had with the company can determine the route that driver is assigned. Typically, drivers with seniority pick the rural routes with more ground to cover but a fewer amount of stops. No matter what route the driver is assigned, they can expect to work long hours.

    While working hard to make your holiday season more enjoyable, Baker often does not get to experience all that the season has to offer.

    “I do not get to go to Christmas plays for my kids at their school. Also, there is no family time during the week,” Baker said. “I don’t work Christmas day, but on Christmas Eve I work for a little bit making last minute deliveries.”

    Although Baker’s extra hours are the cause for his absence, it allows him to provide the essentials for his family.

    “[The most rewarding part of my job is] being able to pay the bills and provide food for my family,” Baker said.

    In addition to the financial benefits, Baker also finds great reward in being able to deliver Christmas presents from loved ones that could not be with their families on December 25th.

    “The younger kids get excited when I show up with boxes and they get a smile on their face. It makes my day go by better,” Baker said. “I guess we can be called ‘Santa’s other helpers.’”

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