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UPS Forecasts Record-Breaking Holiday Shipments

UPS is forecasting a 14 percent increase in packages shipments this holiday season compared to last year. It also revealed its prediction for its busiest tracking day.

UPS plans record seasonal global delivery volume with an increase of more than 14 percent above the peak delivery period last year. The company and its customers benefit from two additional delivery days during 2016. This year the company expects to surpass 700 million packages delivered globally in 25 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

UPS has increased the level of planning and close collaboration with its largest holiday shippers in order to develop early seasonal shipping forecasts. Based on current information, the company anticipates a record 13 of the 21 delivery days before Christmas to exceed 30 million packages daily. UPS delivers approximately 18 million packages daily during typical non-peak shipping periods.

“Online and mobile commerce is simultaneously creating new opportunities and challenges for the retail industry, yet a constant remains: the holiday season is the most important time of the year for retailers,” said Kate Gutmann, Senior vice president UPS Sales and Solutions. “We are committed to helping make this year’s peak season a success for our shippers in all industries.”

Since Christmas falls on Sunday, UPS is developing operating plans that smooth volume throughout the busy weeks, advancing pickups and processing through the weekend prior to its peak delivery day – currently scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19th – to ensure customers enjoy timely deliveries.

A similar approach from Black Friday through Cyber Weekend (Nov. 25-27) will advance delivery processing and smooth volume flow across the following week as merchants fulfill orders from distribution centers and through store inventory earlier in the season.

More than 30 million consumers are expected to use the UPS My Choice service to receive text or email alerts letting them know when packages are on the way. UPS My Choice allows members to plan when and where they receive packages. With the new Follow My Delivery map feature, members can now monitor the progress of their most urgent UPS Air and UPS Worldwide Express packages on a live map when out for delivery.

UPS My Choice also reduces not-at-home delivery attempts, since preferences can be set by consumers to re-direct the package to a nearby UPS Access Point location for convenient pickup or to avoid the eyes of children hoping to discover gifts.

UPS Access Point locations – The UPS Store or other neighborhood businesses, including local dry cleaners, drug stores and coffee shops – have desirable evening and weekend hours to accommodate package pickup according to a consumer’s busy schedule. They provide a secure location for consumers to retrieve their delivery if they are unable to receive their package at home, or if they live in a multi-tenant building that does not provide package collection as part of concierge services. Consumers can also drop off their returns at UPS Access Point locations.

Flexing the Network Capacity

Throughout 2016, UPS has been preparing for its busiest shipping season with the opening of 15 new or expanded hub facilities across the U.S. The company also is installing mobile delivery villages and adding thousands of delivery car positions to support its expanded ground delivery fleet during the period.

Operational efficiency also will come from other advanced technologies that provide better visibility into the contents of full trailers loaded by shippers and tendered to UPS for processing. UPS benefits from the truckload brokerage technologies of Coyote Logistics to arrange contract transportation and increase back haul utilization during the busy peak season.

“In addition to investing in temporary seasonal processing facilities, UPS is implementing new technology and automation systems to increase capacity, efficiency and flexibility within the operations. We have completed the full U.S. deployment for our sophisticated route navigation system, ORION, to reduce miles traveled even with more delivery stops and volume carried,” Gutmann added.

UPS plans to employ more than 95,000 temporary seasonal workers, including delivery helpers who ride with drivers, and package sorters, loaders and drivers.

See the full release on the company’s website.

SourceUPS Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.