Record online shopping putting extra pressure on holiday package deliveries

Anyone still needing to send a package for the holiday season is running out of time, KHOU 11 reporter Adam Bennett has the story.

Anyone still needing to send a package for the holiday season is running out of time.

Shipping companies like UPS and FedEx say they’re dealing with an unprecedented number of packages, with UPS recently warning customers some deliveries may arrive a day or two late.

The cause? A record number of online shoppers.

“I did almost all of (my shopping) online,” said Jodi O’Hara, who was at the UPS Store on Waugh Drive Thursday afternoon. “It’s easier, saves time.” 

“Yes, lots of it,” said John Robert Behrman, also at the UPS Store, when asked about his online holiday shopping. “(More than) I’ve ever done before.”

They’re not alone: Cyber Monday 2017 was the busiest online shopping day in U.S. history, with sales shooting 17 percent higher than Cyber Monday 2016.

That trend continued through that week and beyond, making that holiday delivery not so easy and an on-time delivery a tougher guarantee.

“I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, so (sending packages} about the same day around the 14th and I’m usually okay,” said Cindy Seale, another UPS Store customer.

Glenn Zacarra, Director of Corporate Communications for UPS, sent KHOU 11 the following statement on Thursday:

Demand for UPS services remains very strong. We have returned to our original peak operating plan and normal delivery time-in-transit after the initial Cyber Week surge that exceeded our operating plans. 

Black Friday and Cyber Week sales in the U.S. were record-breaking and UPS was asked to deliver more than we had forecast as a result of such strong ecommerce demand. As previously announced, UPS expects to deliver about 750 million packages this holiday season, which is about 5 percent more than 2016’s holiday volume of more than 712 million packages.

That’s about 40 million more packages than last year. The vast majority of packages will be delivered in accordance with the service commitments for the specified time-in-transit.

Through a combination of new capacity and seasonal hiring, UPS expects on 17 of 21 operating days between Thanksgiving and Christmas to deliver more than 30 million packages, which is nearly double the normal average daily volume of more than 19 million packages and documents.

UPS customers can be confident that UPS is taking the necessary steps to ensure the network operates with its customary dependable performance throughout the holiday season.

Davina Cole, a spokesperson for FedEx, sent KHOU 11 the following statement on Thursday: FedEx is proud of the outstanding service we continue to provide during this peak holiday season. We plan and collaborate closely with our customers year round and engineer our networks to be ready to meet the significant surge in demand for residential deliveries.

FedEx is well-positioned to meet anticipated record demand and we look forward to helping deliver the holidays for our customers around the world.

Customers can continue to track the status of their shipments or check updates on FedEx Service Alerts at http://fedex.com.

FedEx also offers additional convenient delivery options for customers, such as the opportunity to redirect packages via FedEx Delivery Manager to more than 10,000 FedEx Hold locations as part of the FedEx OnSite network, which includes Walgreens, Kroger, Albertsons and more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations.

The U.S. Postal Service is expecting to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail during the holiday season.

USPS officials say Tuesday, December 19, is the last day to send First Class Mail for customers wanting their package to arrive on the doorstep by Christmas.

© 2018 KHOU-TV


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