It is going to be yet another very busy year for the team at UPS, which is projecting 700 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and the end of December. That is up about 16 percent from last year when UPS faced a conservative 600 million packages to deliver.
“The dramatic growth of online shopping and subsequent returns is expected to lift UPS package levels to a record high during this upcoming holiday period,” Kathleen Gutmann, senior vice president of worldwide sales and solutions, said Thursday (Oct. 27) during a call on UPS’ third quarter earnings. “Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve 2016, there are two additional operating days, and we expect to complete over 700 million deliveries worldwide, about 100 million more than last year.”
Coyote Logistics, a transportation and shipping services provider that UPS bought in August of last year, will oversee UPS domestic operations throughout the insane season. UPS will also rely on the automation and expansion programs at its regional sorting hubs. And UPS has built temporary facilities to help handle the big bump-up in holiday traffic.
UPS My Choice program is another channel UPS is hoping will help it keep the volume spike under control. The program allows customers to choose the delivery location of packages to a variety of sites outside their home, like work or a UPS Access Point location. The parcel pickup program has 30 million members worldwide heading into this holiday — a 10 million person pickup since a year ago, Gutmann told analysts on the call. UPS has about 8,000 Access Point locations in the United States, and they include UPS stores, Access Point “smart” lockers and other sites, such as convenience stores and dry cleaners.
The big holiday rush follows a busy Q3 for UPS when eCommerce daily shipments were up across UPS services “from high-single-digit growth in Air products to a 20 percent jump in our most economical product, SurePost,” Richard Peretz, UPS CFO, said.