Christmas deliveries to peak today, Monday 14 December

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The Independent Online

Monday, December 14 will be the busiest shipping day of the year, according to several logistics providers, with many retailers warning that time is running out to buy online and receive free shipping.

According to the US Postal Service, an estimated 830 million pieces of mail will be handled, a 40 percent jump from the daily average of 583 million. FedEx, meanwhile, expects 13 million packages to pass through its global network today, and more than 50 million in total this week. 2009 is shaping up to be a busier year all round, with FedEx expecting a million more packages on December 14, 2009 than on the second Monday of December in 2008. Digital analyst comScore reported yesterday that in the US, $19.9 billion has been spent online for the holiday season to date, marking a three-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.

"Green Monday" is traditionally seen as the final day of the year to order online and receive free shipping, although many retailers have extended free shipping orders to the end of the week, taking advantage of the late placement of Christmas Eve in the week. Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, offers free shipping until December 17 in the US, December 18 in the UK, and December 22 in France.

Freeshipping.org, a website that tracks shipping deadlines, believes that of the top 500 online retailers, nearly two-thirds say their free standard shipping deadlines to ensure Christmas delivery will be on or before December 18.

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