With 56 days left until Christmas parcel delivery giant UPS is expecting to set another record this holiday season in terms of the number of packages it will deliver.
It expects to handle 585 million packages in December, an 11% increase over last year’s level. And while its peak delivery day is expected to happen on Dec. 22, when it plans to deliver 34 million packages worldwide, six days are expected to surpass last year’s single-day delivery record of 31 million packages.
For comparison, the company delivers about 17 million packages worldwide on an average day.
UPS said it has been preparing for the season by outfitting 47 new and expanded facilities and installing flexible capacity across its network. "Some 15 locations will have modular units - loading doors and connected conveyors configured as stand-alone 'mobile delivery villages' - to expand capacity," UPS said in a release. "Each of these villages can dispatch between 60 and 90 additional vehicles from that center. The company also added new information technology solutions and processes to improve volume forecasting, network capacity visibility, package status tracking and customer communications."
All this is an effort to avoid a repeat of last year when UPS and FedEx failed to delivery packages in time for Christmas, setting off a wave of protests by angry consumers and retailers.
UPS noted this Christmas season it has two additional operational days compared to last year. One is naturally due to the calendar while the second day, Friday, Nov. 28, has been added by the company as a full operations day. Previously the day after Thanksgiving was a holiday for many UPS employees, with the change drawing criticism especially from Teamster Union represented employees, most of whom are covered by a contract that has no language preventing such a switch on “Black Friday.”
Last week, UPS main rival, FedEx, announced it was also expecting to see record holiday package volume.