Despite efforts to bump up hiring this year, United Parcel Service and FedEx are struggling with the volume triggered by the uptick in e-commerce sales this season, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Last week, UPS’s on-time deliveries fell to 91% from its 97% average in nonpeak months, and FedEx’s fell bellow its 95% average, according to shipping software company Shipmatrix.
UPS, FedEx ,and the U.S. Postal Service expect to deliver more than 1.5 billion parcels this holiday season, up some 10% year over year.
November and December are expected to see some 11% more e-commerce sales this year, and so far that number is even higher. Online sales rose an estimated 14% this Black Friday, according to Adobe, with more than half of shopping traffic coming from mobile.
United Parcel Service is especially in a bind when it comes to e-commerce sales volume because it does more residential deliveries than FedEx and is trying to reign in costs. Its hampered by a shortage of workers and equipment, extra pickups, and high volumes, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
“Volumes are coming in much higher than planned,” John Haber, CEO of Spend Management Experts, who advises retailers on shipment and delivery, told the Wall Street Journal. “You can only process so much volume so quickly.”
UPS said that it has sent management teams to delivery centers to areas with additional volume, including sites in Austin, TX, and Latham, NY.
The shippers have moved to avoid the delivery problems consumers saw in 2013, when retailers promised e-commerce deliveries so close to Christmas Day that many got their packages late.