Riding along with UPS

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Not only are we counting down the final shopping days til Christmas, but also the rapidly dwindling shipping days as well.

Tuesday was a peak day for holiday deliveries, with UPS expected to move around 22 million packages.

FOX19 rode along as workers delivered the goods.

Last week, UPS rival Fed-Ex shipped more than 14 million packages on its busiest day. Tuesday, UPS moved close to 10 million more parcels. Not only do the UPS guys make those big, brown trucks rock-n-roll, but what they do, on-foot, is nothing short of an all-day workout.

Want to know what "brown" can do for you? Just ask 23-year veteran driver, Chuck Uhrig.

"It is crazy busy," Uhrig said of the final shipping days before Christmas. From the moment he steps into his truck, his day will fly, with a flurry of holiday deliveries.

"We deliver everything, fresh fruit, hams," Uhrig said.

On their busiest day, UPS will move 22 million packages and that means a lot of running.

"We're told to walk at a brisk pace, not allowed to run, walk at a brisk pace," said seasonal hiree, Brett Stevens.

Chuck carefully covers the packages he delivers with a doormat or lawn chair. "We don't want people on the street seeing them," Uhrig said. "And sidewalks, we want to keep them out of the weather."

Safety is key, especially navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood, and that means locking doors inside the truck before leaving it.

"We want to make sure no one can get into the back of our package cars and also you want to keep it locked so no packages come out while you're driving," Uhrig said.

And once Uhrig's foot hits the ground, there is no stopping. It's sort of like Santa Claus with a mile-long list.

"Looks like there's ham in this one, pecan pie, clothing, fruit, a book," Uhrig said.

We asked if Uhrig could tell if someone's been naughty or nice just by the type of package he was delivering?

"Ummm yes!" he laughed. "You can tell who's been real nice and who hasn't been, so who's getting the fruitcake? My boss!"

We asked Uhrig what was the most unusual thing he's delivered in his 23-year career and he told us he could not say it on television.

From about Thanksgiving til just after Christmas, UPS hires lots of seasonal workers and the drivers said it is a huge help.

"Oh it helps me out tremendously," Uhrig said.

Brett Stevens hopes his stint as holiday help will lead to something full-time after the holiday rush.

"Chuck has kind of talked me into it and maybe when he retires I'll take over this route here."

Both men stuck out their arms to end the day with a friendly fist-bump.

"Oh I love it, I look forward to it every year," Uhrig said.

UPS will not deliver the Saturday after Christmas, so Monday would be the first available delivery day after the 25th.

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