FedEx and UPS are expected to deliver a combined 947 million packages this year between Black Friday and Christmas Eve—but they are feeling the strain of Christmas demand.
FedEx reports a 12.4% increase in demand over last year, shipping 40,000 to 45,000 packages a day. Workers say that tensions are high but they are staying on top of it.
The increase in volume has been driven mainly by e-commerce. Unexpected last-minute demand caused huge delays in Christmas 2013 and continued to be a problem last year.
This year, despite employing tens of thousands of additional workers, using the latest algorithmic route-mapping technology, and preparing in any way they can for the holiday rush, FedEx and UPS are still feeling the pressure.
During the Cyber Monday week, UPS made 90.9% of deliveries on time, and FedEx 95%; rates that improved the following week. But despite previous years, Cyber Monday volume was still greater than anticipated.