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Shipping Carriers Predict Millions of Returns

When we checked in with shipping carriers to learn how the holiday season was overall (see, Checking in with UPS and FedEx on Holiday Deliveries, they reminded us the busy season wasn’t over for them. As UPS explained, there’s two reasons for that – returns, and inventory replenishment for many retailers.

UPS Public Relations Director Susan Rosenberg said by the end of the first full week in January, UPS anticipates it will transport four million return packages in the U.S.

As for USPS, the Postal Service said on December 23rd that it expected to handle millions of holiday returns during the next few weeks as customers ship unwanted or not-quite-right gifts back to retailers.

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To get a sense of the scope of the volume, the USPS said it returned more than 6.5 million parcels on behalf of customers following the last holiday season, between December 1, 2013 and Jan. 15, 2014.


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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Author of Turn eBay Data into Dollars (McGraw-Hill 2006). Send news tips to

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