Carriers Project Double-Digit Shipping Increases for Peak Season

Along with the projected increase in holiday spending this season, especially ecommerce, major carriers are all expecting significant double-digit growth in parcel volume between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.

Ecommerce sales are expected to hit $94.7 billion this peak season, representing almost 11% of retail sales in November and December, an all-time high, according to eMarketer. Total retail sales are expected to rise 3.3% to $884.50 billion, eMarketer estimated.

UPS expects to handle 700 million parcels this season, up 17% from 2015. FedEx is projecting a 10% increase in shipping volume over last year’s record of 325 million parcels. Its volume is expected to be more than 25 million packages each Monday during the peak season, compared to 12 million on an average day. Mondays are busier due to the combination of weekend ecommerce orders being fulfilled and inventories being replenished.

The U.S. Postal Service said it will handle about 750 million packages this holiday season, an increase of more than 12% over last year. This is double the volume of packages handled just four years ago.

Here are the holiday shipping cutoffs for all three major carriers:

FedEx:

Dec. 16 — The last day to ship FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery

Dec. 19 — The last day to ship FedEx Express Saver

Dec. 21 — The last day to ship FedEx 2Day A.M and FedEx 2Day

Dec. 22 — The last day to ship FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight

Dec. 23 — FedEx SameDay City operates

Dec. 25 — FedEx SameDay and FedEx SameDay City operates

FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx 2Day will make deliveries on Saturday, Dec. 24. A $16 Saturday delivery fee will apply per package.

UPS:

Dec. 19 — The last day to ship via UPS 3 Day Select to be delivered before Christmas Day (delivery on Dec. 23).

Dec. 21 — The last day to ship all UPS 2nd Day Air packages to be delivered before Christmas Day (delivery on Dec. 23)

Dec. 22 — The last day to ship all UPS Next Day Air packages to be delivered on Dec. 23; last day to ship all UPS 2nd Day Air packages to be delivered before Christmas Day (must use the Saturday delivery option for delivery on Dec. 24).

USPS:

Dec. 15 – The last day for USPS Retail Ground (ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversize packages)

Dec. 20 – The last day for First-Class Mail (service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less)

Dec. 21 – The last day for Priority Mail (domestic service in 1-3 business days based on where the package is mailed and where it’s being sent; a variety of flat-rate options)

Dec. 23 – The last day for Priority Mail Express (the fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations; some restrictions and exceptions apply)

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