High Online Shopping Volume Straining Shipping Companies

December always is the busiest month for package shipping but this year it is bigger than it has ever been due to a huge push in e-commerce that is putting more stress on the country’s delivery companies.

A surge last month of orders around the Cyber Friday, Cyber Monday weekend took a big toll on deliveries on a timely basis.

Last Friday December 18, one retailer Jet.com told its customers that if could not confidently guarantee that orders would arrive on time for Christmas unless its shoppers decided on two-day delivery, which is more expensive.

United Parcel Service in December is expecting to deliver over 420 million packages across the U.S., while its chief competitor FedEx is likely to deliver 228 million packages.

The estimated volume is only 8% higher than last year, which is a boost that coincides with the estimate for an increase of e-commerce.

The United States Postal Service has projected it will handle the largest number of packages in the U.S. in December with over 545 million.

As it comes closer to the start of the holidays, the customers will start using shipping options that are faster such as two-day and overnight delivery.

It has been reported by an online shipping tracker that UPS’ percentage of on-time delivery last week reached 96.1% for its two-day and overnight shipping in comparison to 95.4% for the prior week.

For FedEx, on-time delivery was 98.9%, which improved from 98.7% the week before.

Though e-commerce has been increasing in volume the past few holiday seasons, this year’s volume of Cyber Monday was higher than had been expected.

A spokesperson for UPS said there had been some areas that during the first part of December where packages had exceeded their shipping limits causing delays of at times two days. All deliveries however, had returned to normal at the start of this week, said the spokesperson.

FedEx said it was currently handling record numbers of shipments this season and that its networks were performing as they had been designed.

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