Holiday Shipping By the Numbers

Holiday Shipping By the Numbers

The staggering number of packages shipped around the holidays has been well-documented. Fueled by burgeoning online shopping and a holiday season that will include two extra operating days compared to 2015, major carriers expect record holiday shipments for the second straight year. Here are some numbers to give you an idea of what’s around the corner for holiday shoppers and shippers:

  • The National Retail Federation has predicted online sales will be up 7-10% this year compared to 2015.
  • UPS estimates a 14% increase in holiday shipping volume while FedEx expects a 10% increase. This seasonal spike is fueled by steady growth in online shopping.
  • UPS projects peak season volume of more than 700 million total packages; FedEx expects to handle 370 million.
  • 1.07 billion packages are expected to be handled by UPS and FedEx combined. That equates to approximately 3.3 packages for each person in the United States between the two carriers.
  • UPS expects 13 of 21 holiday delivery days before Christmas to exceed 30 million packages.
  • FedEx expects the four Mondays preceding Christmas to be among the company’s busiest ever as the trend toward weekend online shopping accelerates during the holidays, resulting in higher Monday volume.
  • UPS has opened 15 new or expanded hub facilities across the United States.
  • Since the 2015 peak season, FedEx has invested approximately $2 billion in its FedEx Ground network, adding four major distribution hubs and 19 fully automated stations.
  • FedEx has added more than 12 million square feet of sorting space at FedEx Ground facilities, which carry the bulk of peak volume.
  • FedEx Ground has secured six temporary annexes to handle oversized items such as big-screen TVs, mattresses and bicycles, among many other items. The annexes are located in Atlanta, GA; Fort Worth, TX; Sugarland, TX; Rialto, CA; Chicago, IL; and Metuchen, NJ.
  • FedEx Express has added 30 new planes, and enhanced the vision systems on 270 additional aircraft to improve functionality during weather events.
  • UPS expects to hire 95,000 seasonal workers. The company is also installing mobile, modular delivery “villages” and adding thousands of delivery car positions to support its expanded ground delivery fleet during peak season.
  • FedEx intends to hire 50,000 seasonal employees this year to help direct holiday traffic.

As seen in the numbers, the holiday season means more shipping; all companies need to prepare ahead of time to ensure their packages get where they need to be when they need to be there, even while the holiday shipping storm swirls around them. Be sure to proactively monitor the peak season service levels of your parcel and freight carriers, and the best time to prepare is before the flood gates open. Contact Intelligent Audit with all of your transportation and logistics questions.

Intelligent Audit provides its clients with a global, all-mode transportation audit, recovery, freight payment, and business intelligence reporting partner.

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