TORONTO -- Canada Post has a message for last minute gift-givers: Time is running out to send your holiday packages.

If you plan on sending a present via standard shipping you will need to get your package to Canada Post before the end of Wednesday (Dec. 11) for it to arrive on time for Christmas.

Those willing to pay for express shipping have until Dec. 20 to send their parcels. However, Canada Post warns that the holiday rush is already well underway and causing delays for some deliveries.

Many of those delays are thanks to the so-called “Cyber Week” -- which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- during which the postal service estimates a third of online retailers offer free shipping with no restrictions.

“These offers put holiday shopping into hyper-drive,” a Canada Post spokesperson told by email Tuesday.

Canada Post says it has hired nearly 3,800 temporary workers to help process and deliver packages and mail over the holiday season, in addition to its 22,000 regular employees.

But Canadians’ reliance on online shopping continues to put more pressure on delivery services.

Canada Post experienced a 21.7 per cent increase in parcel volume last year compared to 2017.

The service estimates it will deliver an average of 1.4 million packages a day across the country during the holiday period -- a total of around 80 million packages.

Canada Post also notes that weather-related events could cause further delays during the holiday period. Service alerts are issued when weather conditions deem it unsafe for deliveries to be made.

Customers who are eagerly awaiting holiday packages can track their delivery status through the Canada Post app.

“To better service Canadians, we launched a new delivery preference that allows customers to specify where our delivery agents can safely leave a package outside their home when they aren't there,” read a statement from Canada Post.

“We've had more than one million requests for this delivery preference.”

If you’re still in the process of ordering gifts and worried about delivery timing, Canada Post notes that customers can sign up for “Flex Delivery” which allows them to pick up their package at a local post office, instead of waiting for home delivery.