Expect to see more UPS vans this holiday season as the package delivery giant reports anticipating a 14 percent increase in peak deliveries over last year.
UPS states in a press release that it expects to deliver more than 700 million packages around the world in 25 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. The uptick is partly owed to two additional delivery days that the company added during 2016.
“Online and mobile commerce is simultaneously creating new opportunities and challenges for the retail industry, yet a constant remains: the holiday season is the most important time of the year for retailers,” said Kate Gutmann, senior vice president UPS sales and solutions. “We are committed to helping make this year’s peak season a success for our shippers in all industries.”
UPS has stepped up planning and collaboration with its largest holiday shippers in order to develop early seasonal shipping forecasts.
Based on current information, the company anticipates making a record 30 million plus daily deliveries on 13 of the 21 days before Christmas. As a comparison, UPS delivers roughly 18 million packages daily during typical non-peak shipping periods.
Since Christmas falls on Sunday, UPS is developing plans designed to smooth volume throughout the holiday rush, such as offering advanced pickups and processing through the weekend prior to its peak delivery day, which is currently scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19.
A similar approach from Black Friday through Cyber Weekend (Nov. 25-27) will advance delivery processing and enhance volume flow across the following week as merchants fulfill orders from distribution centers and through store inventory earlier in the season.
Throughout 2016, UPS has been preparing for its busiest shipping season with the opening of 15 new or expanded hub facilities across the U.S. The company also is installing mobile delivery villages and adding thousands of delivery car positions to support its expanded ground delivery fleet during the period.
Operational efficiency also will come from other advanced technologies that provide better visibility into the contents of full trailers loaded by shippers and tendered to UPS for processing. UPS uses the truckload brokerage technologies of Coyote Logistics to arrange contract transportation and increase back haul utilization during the busy peak season.
“In addition to investing in temporary seasonal processing facilities, UPS is implementing new technology and automation systems to increase capacity, efficiency and flexibility within the operations,” Gutmann said. “We have completed the full U.S. deployment for our sophisticated route navigation system, ORION, to reduce miles traveled even with more delivery stops and volume carried.”
UPS plans to employ more than 95,000 temporary seasonal workers, including delivery helpers who ride with drivers, and package sorters, loaders and drivers.
Candidates for seasonal jobs can apply on UPSjobs.com. This holiday work often is an entry point for future permanent jobs and career advancement. Thirty-seven percent of 2014-15 seasonal hires stayed on as UPS employees.