“It’s a very crazy, busy, hectic time,” said Brooke Mitchell, owner of The Box Shop.  The Box Shop is a local shipping business and will pack and ship packages via UPS, Fedex, and the Postal Service.

Which one to use?  “It really depends on what it is you’re shipping,” Mitchell said.  The Postal Service is best to use if you have a smaller, lighter package.  UPS and Fedex are better for larger, heavier packages.

Be careful when packing your shipment.  Mitchell said that a combination of bubble wrap and packing peanuts, while messy, provide the best protection.  The shipping companies maintain lists of what is appropriate to use.  If you pack something using alternative materials, such as plastic bags or popcorn, the shipping companies may not compensate you if something is broken in transit.

The shipping deadlines for Christmas are fast approaching.  It is always possible to ship overnight or within a couple of days for a higher cost.  But for the least expensive options, Fedex Smartpost, which uses a combination of Fedex and the Postal Service, says to ship by December 9.  The deadline for UPS Ground is December 13. The Postal Service Ground delivery’s deadline is December 14.  Fedex Ground and Home Delivery’s deadline is December 16.

Even for the lowest cost options, shipping isn’t cheap.  For example, to ship a 3 pound box from Cheyenne to New York City could cost $13.44 via Fedex, $14.32 via the Postal Service, and $26.06 via UPS.

“Its costly, but when you think about getting it from Point A to Point B, there’s a lot of salaries they pay.  There’s a lot of people who are going to be handling your package,” Mitchell said.