As the COVID-19 pandemic boosts online retail, courier companies are set for an unprecedented surge in parcel volume this holiday season.
UPS and FedEx are expected to hire hundreds of thousands of seasonal staff to help cope with demand.
The companies have already invested heavily in improvements to automated sorting centres, more efficient cargo aircraft, and routing technology.
According to Bloomberg, peak season will serve as a test of sorts, to prove that the huge growth in residential deliveries can be made more profitable, despite the impending capacity crunch.
Year-on-year quarterly volumes have gone up more than 20% for both UPS and FedEx. It could jump up as much as 70% during peak season, compared to last year.
Amazon, too, has enjoyed significant recent growth.
Couriers and retailers always encourage customers to make purchases early during the festive period to ensure timely delivery—and to help ease the pressure of high volume. This year will be no exception, but cut-off times are likely to be earlier than ever.