The world’s largest package delivery company is predicting record shipping volumes this festive season, forecasting a 10% increase on last year’s all-time-high.
UPS said this week it is expecting to deliver 527m packages around the world between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up from last year’s 480m.
The Atlanta-based delivery giant is expecting 20th December to be its busiest day of the year, with around 28m packages being delivered through its global network.
On an average day, UPS delivers about 15.8m packages globally.
UPS is expecting its tracking requests to reach 69m on the peak tracking day, 18th December.
As well as volumes generally, UPS is also expecting its air volumes to more than double around the peak, with expectations of flying 6.5m items on the busiest day, compared to the normal daily air volume of 3m packages. The company will be running more than 400 extra flight segments each day to handle the additional volumes.
Rivals FedEx are predicting their busiest day will come 10 days before UPS’s peak, forecasting 19m items on 10th December, with a total of about 280m items during the festive period.
UPS said for its services, the popularity of ecommerce and mobile shopping was delaying online purchases and compressing deliveries into the final two weeks before Christmas.
With most UPS ground packages in the US reaching their destinations in one to three days, the company said last-minute shoppers would be able to ship packages on 21st December and with UPS Next Day Air see delivery by Christmas Eve.
To handle the surge in volumes this year, UPS is hiring 55,000 temporary employees in the US to handle the increased volumes, with seasonal workers helping drivers, sorting packages and loading or unloading trucks.
UPS is pushing its “My Choice service” again this year for consumers wanting to avoid “sorry we missed you” notices on their doorstep.
The service provides free digital delivery notifications the day before a package is due to arrive, and offers options to reschedule or reroute the package.
UPS said nearly 2m people have now signed up for the service.
The company is also offering carbon neutral shipping for a five-cent premium.
Alan Gershenhorn, the UPS chief sales and marketing officer said it was all part of the “total logistic solutions” approach his company provided for shippers and consumers alike, whether shopping from websites or traditional brick and mortar stores.
“These solutions make the entire transaction seamless, transparent had hassle-free, from the point of sale to final delivery, as well as handling returns and repairs,” he said.