UPS Inc. is planning for a busy holiday season, with projections that its seasonal global delivery volume will increase more than 14 per cent above last year's peak, the company said Tuesday.
Thanks in part to a quirk of the calendar that gives the carrier and its customers two more delivery days than they had in 2015, UPS expects to surpass 700 million packages delivered globally in 25 days between American Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
While UPS delivers approximately 18 million packages daily during non-peak shipping periods, the company expects to exceed 30 million packages daily during 13 of the 21 delivery days before Christmas.
To handle that giant load, UPS is developing operating plans that smooth out the volume of parcels throughout the busy weeks, advancing pickups and processing through the weekend prior to its expected peak delivery day on Monday, Dec.19.
Another holiday strategy is to apply that same approach for the period from Black Friday through Cyber Weekend (Nov. 25-27), as merchants are expected to fulfill orders from distribution centers and through store inventory earlier in the season.
"Online and mobile commerce is simultaneously creating new opportunities and challenges for the retail industry, yet a constant remains: the holiday season is the most important time of the year for retailers," Kate Gutmann, senior vice-president for UPS sales and solutions, said in a release.
In addition, UPS has hired 95,000 temporary seasonal workers, opened new or expanded hub facilities in several countries, and installed advanced technologies that provide better visibility into the contents of full trailers loaded by shippers and tendered to UPS for processing.
"In addition to investing in temporary seasonal processing facilities, UPS is implementing new technology and automation systems to increase capacity, efficiency, and flexibility within the operations," Gutmann said.