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Amazon guarantees packages ordered through Friday will arrive before Christmas

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Amazon was one of the many big retailers that were unable to deliver packages on time for Christmas last year, but this year, the company seems to be a lot more confident. In fact, Amazon is actually making its holiday shipping cut-off even later than it was last year, pushing it back by two days to December 19th for free shipping and the 22nd for two-day shipping. That's going to give it a lot more to do — according to USA Today, Amazon thinks that the 18th will be its busiest shipping day of the year — but it apparently has the infrastructure to actually handle that now. Amazon tells USA Today that by adding fulfillment and sorting centers and expanding its relationship with Fedex, UPS, and USPS over the last year, it's been able to guarantee these additional ordering days.

Of course, that's still only so long as the packages don't get held up elsewhere along the line. Last year, Amazon wasn't the only culprit in the package delays. Other retailers were seeing delays too, and package carriers appeared to be one possible reason behind that — UPS even said that its air packages exceeded capacity at one point because it underestimated demand. All of that is because online shopping is growing in popularity, with its percentage of total shopping sales going way up around the holidays. That trend isn't likely to reverse, but it at least sounds like Amazon and the big package carriers have been able to predict and prepare for it this time around.