UPS Expects 6% Rise In Week Before Christmas Deliveries

UPS expects to deliver more than 120 million packages around the world this year during the last week before Christmas – an increase of more than 6% compared to the 113 million delivered during last year’s peak week.

Within the final 10 days before Christmas, UPS estimates it will see five different days approach or exceed 25 million packages delivered.

That daily delivery volume represents a 60% increase compared to UPS’s normal daily volume of 15.6 million. The 2011 shipping season will reach its summit on Dec. 22 — UPS’s peak shipping day, when the company projects its delivery volume worldwide will approach 26 million. UPS projects its peak air day this year will be Friday, Dec. 23, with more than 6 million deliveries of air packages on that day compared to a normal air volume of 3 million.

To handle all those extra packages, UPS spokesperson Kara Ross says the company will be hiring 55,000 seasonal employees across the U.S. to work as driver helpers or package sorters, loaders or unloaders. The number of seasonal hires is 5,000 more than last year’s projection, Ross adds.

The company is projecting its busiest tracking day of the season will occur on Dec. 20 with more than 58 million online package tracking requests.

UPS will have more than 90,000 vehicles in use, Ross says. To handle the package volume influx, the company plans to add 34 chartered aircraft to its operational fleet of 223.

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