Black Friday Online Sales Put Strain on Shipping Companies
This year, a large portion of Black Friday sales took place on the Internet, with retailers opening their “door buster deals” early to online shoppers. This added convenience may have been a relief for consumers, but it is now causing major strains on shipping companies that have to keep up with their record-high shipping volumes.
In particular, the United Parcel Service is struggling to handle the onset of deliveries. This time last year, UPS reported that 97% of their deliveries arrived on time. Last week, that rate fell to 91%. FedEx also reported lower-than-normal on-time delivery stats of 95%.
Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, there are still packages from those big sales dates being shipped. Approximately 103 million people shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend, resulting in $4.45 billion in online sales. Now UPS, FedEx, and other delivery providers are having to deal with the aftermath. The Wall Street Journal reports that 1.5 billion packages are to be sent out this holiday season between UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service.
Last year, UPS over-hired for the holiday season, which cost the company an extra $200 million. This year, they plan to hire the same number of seasonal workers, so the additional workers may be able to keep up with the added volume of deliveries.