Carriers Working Hard to Handle Crush of Peak Holiday Season Parcels

The U.S. Postal Service’s Parcel Select service bested UPS and FedEx in terms of peak holiday season on-time delivery for the week of Dec. 2-9, according to data from ShipMatrix, hitting the mark 99% of the time, while FedEx Ground was second at 97.1% and UPS trailed at 91.5%.

ShipMatrix president Satish Jindel was quick to add that UPS handles nearly double the parcel volume as FedEx. Last week UPS acknowledged some order delays following Cyber Weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) as it was overwhelmed by higher-than-expected volume. The company said it has since managed to catch up with the flow, using “ready teams” to plug gaps in particularly hard-hit geographies.

All three major carriers “are continuing to handle millions of parcel deliveries at service levels consistent with prior peak seasons,” Jindel said. “While the service levels are below high nineties achieved during rest of the year, the carriers are handing over 60 million parcels per day, which represents a 50% increase over other times in the year.”

ShipMatrix data comes from hundreds of customers in retail, distribution and manufacturing that ship hundreds of millions of parcels from more than 90,000 locations across the country.

In addition, pilots for DHL and Amazon Prime Air have reported peak holiday season delivery delays as well, according to Fortune. Amazon, however, said it had not seen any Prime Air delays.

UPS expects to handle 750 million packages this peak holiday season, compared to 400 million by FedEx. The USPS said it plans to deliver 200 million packages per week between Dec. 11 and Dec. 24, up 10% from 2016.

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