UPS expects a 10% increase in holiday shipments this year and predicts it will deliver over 630 million packages between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve. And 60% of those orders will be to residences vs. businesses, compared to the average of 45% the rest of the year.
The prediction came on Tuesday, a day after FedEx announced it expected a 12% increase in holiday season volume to 317 million shipments between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.
Both companies noted in their announcements that the season includes one more day than last year.
UPS will add up to 95,000 temporary workers during the holiday season. However, it told the Wall Street Journal it would bring them on just two or three days before they’re needed instead of for the full peak season.
UPS expects its peak delivery day to fall on Tuesday, December 22, when it expects to deliver 36 million packages, double its average daily volume of 18 million. It noted that 10 years ago, its peak delivery day was 17 million deliveries, pointing to ecommerce for the increase.
UPS also revealed its prediction for its busiest tracking day, expecting 128 million tracking requests on December 15th.
UPS Chief Commercial Officer Alan Gershenhorn said consumer preference for online commerce was driving tremendous growth opportunities for the shipping company. “Our integrated air and ground delivery network, extensive status and visibility systems and a broad portfolio of shipping solutions position UPS to best manage increasing demand driven by online commerce.”
And, he said, “Beyond new processing facilities, automation and routing technology to increase capacity, we’ve implemented easy-to-use mobile and web-based technology that helps consumers to track progress and customize their delivery so they can plan when and where they receive packages.”
UPS noted that it expects to have 8,000 UPS Access Points in 100 US cities by December at neighborhood businesses such as dry cleaners, drug stores, and coffee shops as well as at The UPS Store locations. Customers can sign up for UPS My Choice to receive text or email alerts about their deliveries and to redirect packages to its Access Point locations.
“UPS Access Point locations have desirable evening and weekend hours to accommodate package pickup according to a consumer’s busy schedule,” and, the company pointed out, “consumers can also drop off their returns at UPS Access Point locations.”
UPS will have 22,000 Access Point locations worldwide by year-end.