UPS’s Christmas Wish: A Delivery Surge It Can Handle
By Paul Ziobro
Nov. 26, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET
United Parcel Service Inc. UPS -7.37% is hoping that billions of dollars in system improvements this year will help it avoid shipping problems during the online shopping surge of the holiday season.
The Atlanta-based company expects to handle nearly 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, delivering an average of 31 million each delivery day—more than double the average daily volume. That is up from 762 million packages during last year’s peak period.
UPS is banking on closer collaboration with more commercial customers, automated facilities and new technology that reroutes packages around choke points during high-volume periods.
Both UPS and rival FedEx Corp. have been swamped in the past by a boom in deliveries around the holidays as consumers made more of their purchases online and retailers competed for their business by offering free and discount shipping.
FedEx has tackled its delivery problems by working more closely with retailers to forecast demand and enforcing limits on how much those companies can put into its network. It managed the surge in 2017 without much trouble.
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