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UPS predicts a ‘record-breaking’ holiday season

Expecting shipping volume to jump 5% this holiday season, UPS is on track to shatter its holiday shipping records.

The carrier plans to deliver more than 750 million packages globally in the 25 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This volume is approximately 5% above last year’s holiday peak shipping season volume. During 17 of these 25 days, UPS expects to deliver more than 30 million packages.

To ensure it can get packages into recipients’ hands in a timely manner, the company is launching UPS Saturday Ground, a service that features five additional ground pickup and delivery days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This service will add approximately 6,000 permanent, year-round jobs when fully implemented.

Overall, UPS plans to employ 95,000 temporary seasonal workers, including drivers, delivery helpers who ride with drivers, package sorters, and loaders, according to the company.

“Retail industry sales forecasts indicate another strong holiday season. UPS is working hand-in-hand with our customers to meet consumer demand for nearly double our normal daily residential and business-to-business deliveries,” said Kate Gutmann, UPS chief sales and solutions officer. “Online and mobile commerce has transformed the retail industry, and UPS is ideally positioned to serve both our consumer and business customers during even these busiest of times.”

To further streamline these deliveries, UPS continues to invest in operational and consumer technologies, and facility improvements. Customer visibility tools, “increased consumer convenience with expanded UPS Access Point network options, and new Saturday ground delivery and pick-up services are all part of the expanding solutions UPS is providing our customers, and their consumers, to take full advantage of the holiday season,” she added.

The company is also investing in its facilities to streamline holiday deliveries. For example, UPS completed four new and expanded facility projects in 2017, creating about 1 million sq. ft. of additional automated operations. Both package sorting and delivery capacity is increasing by about 6% over last year.

Meanwhile, advanced package scanning and sortation technology is increasing processing speed, accuracy and efficiency. It also enables package routing flexibility to meet growing customer shipping demands, the company said.

UPS’ holiday expectations come on the heels of its announcement on Wednesday to increase shipping costs by almost 5% on Jan. 1, 2018.
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