UPS predicts late peak for festive season parcel deliveries

UPS is taking on 55,000 seasonal employees across the US as it prepares for the festive seasonal shipping season, and is predicting a late peak for online shopping activities. The integrator is predicting December 22 as its peak day for shipping, when it is expecting to ship nearly 26m items worldwide, a 60% boost from its normal daily volume of 15.6m packages.

It is also predicting that it will handle at lease 25m packages worldwide on five different days in mid-December. Last year only saw one day in which the level was passed.

Overall for its “peak week”, the last seven days before Christmas, UPS believes it will deliver more than 120m packages around the world this year, up 6% on last year’s 113m total for the week.


As with rival FedEx, which last month forecast a 10% rise in its shipping volumes this Christmas, UPS is basing its predictions on industry estimations of the growth in internet retail.

Unlike FedEx, which predicted its busiest day would be December 13, UPS believes its customers are delaying their online shopping until just before Christmas. The company said most of its ground services will get a package to its destination in one to three days, but last-minute shoppers can make use of its air services up to December 24.

UPS believes its peak day for air transit will be December 23, when normal air volumes should double to 6m items. Some 400 additional flights will be laid on each day during the peak week.

The company is predicting December 20 as its peak day for tracking requests.

UPS My Choice

Alan Gersenhorn, UPS chief sales and marketing officer, said his company was particularly looking forward to this year’s festive season, having launched its new alert service in September, which helps consumers cut down on missed deliveries.

The service provides an alert message the day before a package is due to arrive, providing a four-hour delivery window as well as options to rearrange delivery. A premium membership, with a $40 fee, offers a two-hour delivery window.

He said: “This year we’re excited because it will be the first season we’ve offered UPS My choice service, which gives our US residential customers visibility and control of their arriving shipments. No other carrier offers consumers this level of control.”

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