TODAY   |  December 17, 2013

Thousands of UPS trucks out on busiest day of year

NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports from inside one of the 60,000 UPS trucks out and about today on the busiest delivery day of the year, due in part to an increase in online shopping for the holidays.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> gont be surprised if you see a lot of delivery trucks in your neighborhood today. with online sales up, this is the busiest day of the year for u.p.s.. and janet shamlian is i hope helping out on one of the signature brown trucks. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning to you. i know it looks like i've taken on a second job here, but to be on one of these delivery trucks, it's u.p.s. policy that everyone, even reporters, wear one of these brown uniforms. i'm here with ken and we're this one of 60,000 of these trucks on the road today. biggest delivery day of the year. and even from this same time last year, holiday season , volume is up tens of millions of packages and it's all due to online shopping . even at this early hour, the rush is on. and today could be record-setting. u.p.s. expects to deliver 29 million packages worldwide. 300 every second.

>> it's giving the consumers an opportunity to shop later, compressing the shopping season.

>> reporter: online holiday shopping has created a tidal wave of holiday shipping. up an unprecedented 8% over last year.

>> 95% of all of our christmas shopping was done online.

>> reporter: almost half of those surveyed say they will finish last minute shopping from their laptop, tablet or smartphone.

>> it's a waste of money of driving to the store. it saves myself gas.

>> reporter: that attitude is why retailers are using shipping as a competitive weapon. big stores have big more than just a place to buy. they're also able to send your purchase anywhere.

>> do you want to pick it up in the store, do you want to have it shipped it your shohome. whichever way, we have it here.

>> reporter: but online, the store never closes.

>> if you pick it up on the 23rd, air service will get it to you by christmas.

>> reporter: promise?

>> promise.

>> reporter: delivery wars are heating up. amazon says you can order as late as sunday night at midnight and still get free two day shipping for their prime members. as for ken here, he'll make more than 100 stops today, but it's no problem. he's been doing this 29 years. and doesn't usually have cargo in the passenger seat, but he's a pro. back to you.

>> janet, be honest. do you have ken driving around in circles on that same block?

>> reporter: maybe.

>> he has to get to work.

>> janet and ken, a man of few wor words, thank you.