It could be a very cold Christmas for shoppers if you do not order early.By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With record-shattering coronavirus cases pushing people back inside their homes, most holiday shopping is now being done online.

Shipping analysts are expecting a record-setting number of online orders.

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At the height of the holiday shopping season, analysts are predicting an average of 25 packages per household. According to Satish Jindel, the president of ShipMatrix, there will be more online orders than Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and USPS can handle this holiday season.

“COVID-19 has increased the demand that they were expecting online over the next three or four years. It has come in three or four months,” said Jindel.

ShipMatrix analyzes and shares worldwide shipping information with retailers and consumers. When you place an online order, the company traces its steps.

“We become the chaperone of the package once it leaves the building, and keep an eye on everything that goes right, what goes wrong,” said Jindel.

What could go wrong this year? While your presents are supposed to be under the tree, they could still be on the truck.

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Jindel said shoppers can expect one- or two-day delays on their orders.

ShipMatrix predicts more than 7.2 million packages a day this holiday season, tripling the number of online orders from last year.

“They are trying to add people for working within the buildings, to do the deliveries. But they are constrained in hiring those people because many are nervous about COVID,” said Jindel.

The company is warning consumers that this could be a very cold Christmas if you do not order early.

“You will pay, whether you are a retailer or consumer, for procrastinating,” said Jindel.

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According to experts, shoppers should plan on having all online orders placed by Dec. 18. Otherwise, even paying for express shipping will not guarantee your items arrive before Christmas.