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Pallets with mail-in ballots at a USPS center. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

If you rely on last-minute holiday shopping, 2020 won't be your year.

Why it matters: America's biggest shipping companies are out of excess capacity, and that's before the holiday rush.

  • "The capacity shortfall could average as much as seven million packages a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas," the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: This goes beyond your Amazon orders — many stores might dial down their Black Friday offerings because they've been running leaner on merchandise since March, the N.Y. Times notes.

  • Call it "Shipageddon," as a Retail Geek podcast noted earlier this month.

Other efforts to meet the surge:

  • Amazon moved Prime Day up to October.
  • FedEx moved to seven-day-a-week pickup.
  • High volume retailers will be charged bigger fees.
  • Stores are pushing customers to buy online and pick up in stores.
  • USPS will change its priority to holiday shipping after the election rush.

The bottom line: “Consumers should be prepared for deliveries to take extra days no matter which carrier is delivering their parcels,” ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel told the Journal.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

Amazon's second great land-grab

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is in the midst of a hiring spree unprecedented in American corporate history. It's a show of force that, if history is any guide, will be extraordinarily difficult to compete with.

By the numbers: Amazon has been doing extremely well during the coronavirus pandemic. In the six months from April through September this year it made a profit of $11.6 billion. That's up from $4.8 billion in the same period of 2019, and a mere $450 million in those six months of 2017.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

The silver lining in 2020's weak Black Friday sales

Data: Placer.ai; Chart: Axios Visuals

Black Friday was disappointing for retailers this year, as spending numbers underwhelmed and foot traffic declined dramatically, according to data from analytics firm Placer.ai.

By the numbers: Customer visits were down, on average, more than 26% compared to Black Friday 2019 at the six retailers Placer tracked.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.