It looks like a busy holiday season for the purple and brown elves.
FedEx Corp. said Friday that it expects to move 19 million packages through its network today, the busiest day in the company's 41-year history. The FedEx peak coincides with "Green Monday," a term coined by online auctioneer eBay to describe the best sales day in December and the kick-off to the heaviest online shopping week of the year.
Not surprisingly, e-commerce will contribute mightily to a record Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shipping period for FedEx. The company said it expects to move 280 million packages through its global system during the period, up 13 percent from 2011 levels.
Atlanta-based UPS also expects to preside over a busy beehive of holiday activity, although on a larger scale given its immense size. The company said it expects to deliver a record 527 million packages worldwide during the near month-long period, bettering the previous record of 480 million set in 2011.
On its peak day of Dec. 20, UPS expects to deliver 28 million pieces, a one-day record. The company delivers an average of 15.8 million packages per day.
Both companies are expected to benefit from a surge in online shopping during the holidays. Online sales are expected to climb 17 percent compared to 2011, according to research firm eMarketer. In 2011, U.S. consumers spent $1.1 billion just on Green Monday.