Largest shippers to expand holiday delivery operations Dec.
HUNTINGTON — Billions of pieces of mail and packages are expected to be delivered right up until Christmas Day in some locations of the country, so the nation’s three largest shippers are expanding operations in December.
The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages, for a total of nearly 16 billion cheerful deliveries this holiday season the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
“The Postal Service is ready to deliver for the holiday season. We have increased our operating capacity to include additional transportation and extended our delivery windows,” said Megan Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “Our dedicated employees are proud to deliver more packages to homes than any other shipper.”
The Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes that began on Saturday. The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities, and anticipates delivering more than 8 million packages on Sundays this December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations, according to the USPS.
With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping.
Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. Starting the week of Dec. 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks.
The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nearly 3 billion pieces of first-class mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.
For more information, visit usps.com.
UPS plans to deliver more than 750 million packages globally in the 25 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
The record-breaking seasonal global delivery volume is approximately 5 percent above last year’s holiday peak shipping season volume. Of the 21 holiday delivery days before Dec. 25, 17 are expected to exceed 30 million delivered packages.
With the launch of UPS Saturday ground pickup and delivery service, customers in nearly 4,700 cities and towns across the country will benefit from five additional ground pickup and delivery days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Retail industry sales forecasts indicate another strong holiday season. UPS is working hand-in-hand with our customers to meet consumer demand for nearly double our normal daily residential and business-to-business deliveries,” said Kate Gutmann, UPS Chief Sales and Solutions Officer. “Online and mobile commerce has transformed the retail industry, and UPS is ideally positioned to serve both our consumer and business customers during even these busiest of times.”
During the busy holiday shipping season, UPS flexes its global delivery network to process nearly double the regular daily volume of about 19 million packages and documents.
“UPS continues to invest in the operational and consumer technologies and facility improvements that enable the company to deliver the holidays for our customers,” Gutmann said. “Enhanced customer visibility tools, increased consumer convenience with expanded UPS Access Point network options, and the availability of the new Saturday ground delivery and pick-up services are all part of the expanding solutions UPS is providing our customers, and their consumers, to take full advantage of the holiday season.”
The new Saturday ground operations, driven by continuing demand for UPS services, will add about 6,000 permanent, year-round jobs when fully implemented, Gutmann added.
This peak season, UPS plans to employ 95,000 temporary seasonal workers, including drivers, delivery helpers who ride with drivers, package sorters, and loaders. Almost 35 percent of those hired seasonally over the last three years now have permanent jobs with the company, according to Gutmann.
To view and download the UPS year-end holiday schedule, including last days to ship for delivery by Christmas, visit ups.com/holidays.
Memphis-based FedEx is gearing up for another busy holiday season.
Ten years ago, FedEx was handling 12 million shipments on a record volume day. Today, an average day means 14 million shipments, according to FedEx officials.
FedEx has had to keep up with that rise and demand, which increases even more during peak season.
“Our volumes grow tremendously during the peak, so this is a typical year, maybe a few more this year because we have more volume this year,” said Bob Henning, CFO of FedEx Ground.
Henning said FedEx is expecting another record holiday season and is hiring about 55,000 seasonal workers, a majority of which will work with FedEx Ground.
FedEx Ground will once again run six- and seven-day operations through the peak season, he said.
Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.