This past week, Jet.com became one of the first online retailers to crumble under the crippling holiday rush and announce that purchases made a full week before Christmas would not be arriving on time unless shipping was upgraded to “two-day” delivery.
In a series of emails to customers, the company regretfully informed them of the shipping delays, reports The Wall Street Journal.
“This year’s holiday gift rush has led to nationwide shipping delays that have affected many of our fulfillment partners,” Jet posted on its website. “We can no longer confidently guarantee delivery by Dec.25 for any items not flagged as eligible for two-day delivery.” Jet representatives insist this in an industry-wide problem, not specific to them, adding that the company “did go above and beyond letting customers know, early, in an effort to be responsible and transparent.”
Looking to UPS, there are indications that delivery times did start to lag earlier than normal in the holiday season. According to the latest data from ShipMatrix Inc. (shared by WSJ), on-time delivery rates for UPS ground packages based on their normal shipping transit times fell to 91 percent in the first week of December, compared to an on-time rate of 97 percent the year prior, UPS’ average during nonpeak months. FedEx Corp.’s early numbers were also lower than usual at an estimated 95 percent.
A spokesman for UPS told WSJ, “The vast majority of UPS customers are receiving their packages on time, based on our service commitments.”
However, for Jet, the timing couldn’t be worse, as the company is in the midst of a national marketing campaign that aims to show customers it is a formidable opponent to Amazon and using a recently closed funding round of $350 million to help bankroll the campaign.