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UPS delivery times have been disrupted by huge online sales, as a record number of orders have to be processed these days.
On time shipping performance has dropped significantly in the time interval starting on November 29 and ending on December 5, not just for the United Parcel Service, but also for rival delivery giant, FedEx.
This was probably due to the shopping frenzy triggered by Black Friday, which unfolded on November 27. Various promotions and discounts caused customers to spend the dizzying amount of $3.07 billion, which was approximately 16% higher than the one reported last year.
According to data aggregated by researchers at ShipMatrix, a company which analyzes the effectiveness and quickness of major shipping carriers, UPS managed to deliver goods on time just in 91% of the cases, while its average score is usually of around 97%.
Apparently, the most significant delays when it came to shipping goods were identified in New York, California and Texas, whereas in other states service was more timely.
Overall, it is estimated that UPS has been shipping around 30 million parcels on a daily basis, ever since November 27, and will continue to function at this incredibly alert pace until the end of the year.
As company representative Steve Gaut has declared, this will correspond to a staggering amount of 630 million packages being delivered by December 31, the total being around 10% higher than the one reported in 2014, and much larger than anticipated.
Similarly, as ShipMatrix spokesperson Mark D’Amico has revealed, FedEx has also experienced trouble following the surge in online orders issued on Black Friday.
Its on-time delivery performance has also suffered a decline, reaching 95%, but as FedEx representative Rae Lyn has said this is understandable, given the fact that shopping trends have been changing lately.
More precisely, e-commerce is becoming more and more common, and customers have been ordering a larger amount of products much earlier than in previous years, probably so as not to be caught unprepared as the winter holidays approach.
Given this growing demand, shippers have been working at full capacity, even trying to expand their operations so as to keep up with this unprecedented volume of merchandise waiting to be delivered.
For instance, UPS has declared it would be adding 95,000 new seasonal employees in order to process the growing number of orders, and FedEx has also called for 55,000 temp workers to join the company’s ranks.
Moreover, UPS has revamped its hubs in order to boost performance, and has been storing parcels in several key spots across major cities, so that couriers no longer have to waste precious time driving to and from warehouses.
The purpose is to avoid the delivery disaster which occurred in the winter of 2013, allegedly as a result of severe weather conditions, coupled with large volumes of orders received close to cut-off times.
At the time, numerous customers who had been relying on the promptness of FedEx and UPS received packages after Christmas had passed, despite having ordered them much earlier, so as to ensure that they would arrive on time.
However, there is another extra challenge this year: the fact that major retailers have introduced a much wider variety of ways to deliver goods to their customers.
Since certain shoppers decide to order online, but collect the items from stores, it’s much more difficult to anticipate how many packages will actually have to be delivered.
Eventually, if on-time delivery rates are even more severely affected, a growing number of customers might actually opt for in-store pickup, which will allow them to have better control of when they obtain their desired commodities.
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