Your UPS driver is going to be a lot busier this year.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve the shipping giant expects "to complete over 700 million deliveries worldwide, about 100 million more than last year," said Kate Gutmann, UPS's senior vice president of worldwide sales and solutions, on a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings. That's about a 17% increase.
The continued move of holiday shopping to online from traditional, physical retail stores is fueling the increase. New Year's Day falling on a Sunday is also a factor, as it gives UPS two additional operating days to move shipments.
To prepare, UPS is hiring an additional 95,000 temporary workers and is adding automated shipping hubs in the U.S. just for the holiday season. The hubs handle sorting, storage and manage where packages go.
By most accounts, the holiday season is expected to be busy. The National Retail Federation announced earlier this month that it expects sales to increase 3.6% overall in November and December to $655.8 billion.
Amazon similarly announced earlier this month that it was planning to hire 120,000 temporary workers to better handle the busy season, a jump from the 100,000 temp workers it brought on last year. Rival FedEx announced in September it was bringing on more than 50,000 temporary workers.
UPS is also planning to add 14 new Boeing 747 plans to its fleet, with the option to add 14 more. But don't expect them to help your ship times this year, though. The first two planes of that order won't be added until "the end of 2017."
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