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Checking in with UPS and FedEx on Holiday Deliveries

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without bad weather hitting parts of the country, but checking in with shipping carriers on Tuesday, it appears things are going much more smoothly than last December when some customers did not receive their orders in time for gift-giving.

Having said that, storms are wreaking havoc in some parts of the country in the final days before Christmas, notably the Northeast, Midwest, and South (via AccuWeather).

UPS spokesperson Susan Rosenberg said overall, it has been good performance this holiday season. “The weather hasn’t presented anything extraordinary,” she said, “and our operations are running as expected.”

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As for FedEx, “We have experienced a dynamic of Peak demand shifting more broadly across the entire peak period, and we continue to expect growth for the overall peak season,” spokesperson Gretchen Mathis said. “That shift is positive for FedEx as it allows us to more efficiently plan our service and adjust capacity.”

In September, EcommerceBytes looked at how UPS was preparing for the holiday season. On Tuesday, Rosenberg said UPS permanent and temporary capacity modifications, a strong seasonal workforce, new technologies for visibility and customer communications, and advanced discussions with customers all have been helpful to maintain its network efficiency.

While she had no specific numbers to report (and won’t until 4Q earnings in early February), Rosenberg did say UPS delivery activity Monday followed its plan and “was what we expected with the forecast of 34 million packages delivered globally.”

Likewise, specifics were not forthcoming from FedEx – that’s because it’s still the heart of the peak season, Mathis said. The company’s busiest day was forecasted to be December 15th.

“As for our performance this year, our operations are running smoothly and we’re on track with delivery commitments. Every package is important to us. We’re delivering outstanding service this holiday season,” she said.

The USPS did not respond to a request for information on Tuesday, but it released figures on its blog. The agency said it delivered a record 28.3 million packages on December 22, up 9.5% over the busiest day last year, and surpassing the previous milestone, which was 27.9 million deliveries set one week earlier.

On December 21, USPS delivered 6.3 million packages. And the USPS said it has delivered 422 million parcels since Nov. 30, nearing its prediction of at least 450 million package deliveries during the peak season.

The Wall Street Journal looked at new technology from UPS to speed operations, and those without a subscription can view the video via PostalNews.com.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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