eCommerce Surge Slows Holiday Deliveries

December 19, 2017

More people than ever are doing their holiday shopping online. And that’s putting extraordinary pressure on package delivery services like UPS and FedEx as they face unusually high daily package volumes.

The numbers back it up: Cyber Monday 2017 was the busiest online shopping day in U.S. history, with sales shooting 17 percent higher than Cyber Monday 2016.

High levels of daily package volume are continuing to plague UPS, Sourcing Journal reported last week.  Black Friday and Cyber Week sales in the U.S. were record-breaking and UPS was asked to deliver more than forecasted as a result of such strong eCommerce demand. However, the company still intends to deliver the 750 million packages expected on time, which is about 5 percent more than 2016’s holiday volume of more than 712 million packages.

FedEx is also working hard to remain within its projected delivery windows. FedEx had predicted the increased holiday volume and attempted to tame the tide by raising its prices.

DHL plans to hire roughly 6,000 additional workers across its four business units in North America to support its contract logistics, fulfillment, freight transportation and express delivery operations in December.

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

Industry observers forecast approximately $107.4 billion in holiday sales for online orders, making 2017 the first to reach $100 billion.


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