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What Supply Chain Problems? Holiday Packages Are Arriving On Time

What Supply Chain Problems? Holiday Packages Are Arriving On Time

CNN Business is reporting some early holiday cheer: in a year where people who had never thought about the supply chain were suddenly making it into a huge political issue, holiday shipments and deliveries are actually moving fairly well. Deliveries of packages by UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service (USPS) are all moving at close to 100% on-time performance, according to data from ShipMatrix, a software provider that works with parcel shippers.

It’s a pleasant surprise even for those who predicted that those three services would still be well prepared for the holiday season despite the stories in the media regarding problems with shipping lanes and ports on both coasts of the country.

A survey conducted for UPS earlier this year found that 91% of consumers said they planned to complete all of their holiday shopping one week before Christmas compared to 81% last year. And about 60% of consumers aimed to finish shopping two weeks before the holiday, up from 52% in 2020, while 25% said they were planning to finish their lists before Black Friday.

 

All three delivery services have brought on tens of thousands of seasonal workers, in addition to hiring more permanent, full-time staff, despite the labor shortage. The three carriers also are reporting that their delivery networks are running smoothly, even as they all report increased package volumes. This proves the promises made by President Joe Biden regarding the supply chain at October’s G20 have actually come to fruition and will still be a focus of his administration.

The Postal Service said it expects to deliver between 850 million and 950 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, which would break last year’s record 925 million parcels delivered during the 2020 holiday season, and will certainly top the 810 million packages the service delivered in the last pre-pandemic holiday season of 2019. UPS also said it is forecasting a volume increase from last year’s record levels, though it has yet to provide specific. Over the first nine months of this year, daily domestic package volume at UPS was up 2% from 2020, which itself was up 15% from the first nine months in 2019. And FedEx said it expects to handle 100,000 more packages this holiday season than it did in 2019.

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