Friday, October 17, 2014

UPS, FedEx Urging Retailers to Rethink Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Last year's holiday shipping fiasco left nearly 2 million packages stranded across the United States just before Christmas. This was caused (in part) by severe weather, a condensed holiday shopping season, and an overwhelming volume of last-minute packages dropped off for shipment at UPS and FedEx locations.

To avoid a repeat of last year, UPS and FedEx are working hard (and investing millions of dollars) to increase productivity and capacity.

According to an article from The Wall Street Journal Online, UPS plans to spend $500 million to expand buildings and increase seasonal hires by nearly 73%. Similarly, FedEx plans to spend nearly 90% of it's $1.2 billion in capital to expand capacity and hire an additional 50,000 seasonal employees.

In addition to hiring more employees and expanding productivity, UPS and FedEx also plan to work closely with retailers to set expectations and limits when it comes to last-minute deliveries. The article states that FedEx is "Collaborating with them [retailers] on forecasts and advising them on how much business it can handle in the weeks before Christmas - and warning what will happen if it is overwhelmed."

Take a look at The Wall Street Journal article to learn more about UPS and FedEx's plan for this holiday season, including their suggestions for retailers:

  • Hold big sales in mid-December rather than the last few days leading up to Christmas 
  • Stagger special offers geographically 
  • Reduce free overnight-shipping offers on December 23

Plus, see how retailers like Macy's, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom are responding. 

by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire