Trust in home delivery higher than ever, with parcel volumes breaking records

Reports so far suggest that this year’s festive season is breaking records for parcel volumes either side of the Atlantic, as Christmas shoppers become more and more confident in home delivery options.

United States

In the United States, holiday shopping sales have increased 4.1% this year compared to last, while online shopping has totaled more than $29.3bn so far, up 13% on the same period last year.

UPS is planning to deliver more than 135m packages this week around the world, including 28m on Thursday (20th December), its busiest day.

The world’s largest package delivery company is adding more than 400 additional flights per day this week to cope with the peak volumes.

This year, the company is also predicting a big increase in parcels in early January thanks to the increasing popularity of returns services, forecasting that more than 2m packages will go back to retailers in the first week of January.

“We’ve seen a 15% increase in retail returns over the last year,” said David Sisco, the UPS retail marketing director. “UPS research shows that 63% of online shoppers review a retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase.”

FedEx rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday

FedEx Ground has been seeing record volumes in the US, surpassing the 19m item per day mark on three different Mondays in recent weeks – 26th November, 10th December and 17th December.

The company celebrated the continuing growth of its holiday business by ringing the New York Stock Exchange bell on Monday, which turned out to be its busiest day with more than 19.8m packages flowing through the network.

Dave Rebholz, president and CEO of FedEx Ground, said: “We’re very proud of the people across the entire FedEx network making the holidays happen. Their commitment and efforts are ensuring we seamlessly deliver Christmas during our busiest season ever.”


Canada Post said yesterday that it achieved an all-time single-day record on Thursday, 13th December, by delivering 1m parcels across the country.

The achievement represents an 11% increase on the Corporation’s previous busiest single day.

Jacques Côté, the Group President of the Physical Network at Canada Post, said the growth was confirming the repositioning of his company towards delivering more parcels.

“Our investments in modern equipment, flexible and motorised delivery methods, community mail and parcel boxes are paying off, and so is the enhanced tracking that gives customers peace of mind their item is on the way,” he said.

“Our strategy is to build canada Post as the No.1 choice for home delivery by Canadians.”

Canada Post said it is expecting to deliver another 4.4m parcels to 15.1m addresses over the next few days.

United Kingdom

Shipping management firm MetaPack said its predictions for a later peak than ever appeared to be confirmed so far.

The company said this week will be “uncharacteristically” busy as British online shoppers become increasingly confident in Internet transactions.

While in previous years the week before Christmas has slowed a little from the previous week, this Monday (17th December) saw a 1% increase on last Monday’s volumes in the UK, MetaPack said.

Patrick Wall, MetaPack CEO and Founder, said: “Historically week on week volumes have fallen between 30% and 50% in the week prior to Christmas, this year volumes are expected to hold with Monday to Wednesday comparable to last week. Retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo, Matalan and Monsoon were still experiencing increasing volumes at the start of this week. The majority of leading retailers will continue to take pre-Christmas orders until at least Thursday.”

MetaPack said the movement of the peak closer to Christmas has particularly prominent in the regions, with only Scotland and the North East showing a softening in volumes this week.

“We expect Greater London online orders to see an increase this week. Mild weather and consumer confidence will see the high volumes continue,” said Wall.

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