Carriers such as the US Postal Service, FedEx and United Parcel Service have capacity to meet projected demand this holiday season, which is great news for both shippers and buyers.
Like last year, there is likely to be little drama compared to the struggles during the pandemic, when people hunkered down at home and relied on online shopping while major carriers, including the Postal Service, simultaneously struggled with absenteeism and a surge in package shipments had.
Louis DeJoy, postmaster general, said the Postal Service’s goal is to make delivery “deliberate and routine” during the peak holiday season.
Overall, the parcel industry has capacity to deliver more than 110 million packages compared to a forecast holiday peak of 82 million per day, slightly less than last year, said Satish Jindel of ShipMatrix.
But buyers shouldn’t wait until the last minute. “It’s not a ticket to defer,” he said.
And Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, are among the biggest shopping days of the season.
The holidays are also a big moment for shippers.
United Parcel Service is on track to hire 100,000 workers to reach peak levels and is “ready again to provide the reliable service customers depend on,” said John Mayer, a spokesman.
FedEx is also hiring new employees for some locations but is ready for the season, said Christina Meek, a spokeswoman. “Our employees around the world are ready to deliver for this year’s peak season,” she said.
The U.S. Postal Service, meanwhile, has hired 10,000 seasonal workers and completed the installation of about 150 package sorting machines since the last holiday season, which, along with other operational improvements, will increase its daily capacity to 70 million packages, officials said
Jindel said FedEx and UPS are expected to have on-time performance in the mid- to high-90s, and the Postal Service could also reach the mid-90s.
Shipping may be cheaper for some retailers.
The U.S. Postal Service, for example, has opted against holiday surcharges, even though both FedEx and UPS have imposed surcharges for deliveries between now and January. Nevertheless, Jindel assumes that around half as many shipments will be surcharged compared to the previous year and that some other rates will be lower.
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