The holiday season, spanning over November and December, is the busiest time of the year for retailers, and particularly for e-commerce merchants. This year is expected to beat previous sales records, signalling higher shipping volumes for local post and delivery services.
Amazon reported a record number of online purchases from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, with orders from 18 million consumers worldwide.
In the United States, USPS expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail over the holidays. The week of Dec. 17-23 is predicted to be the busiest week, when nearly three billion pieces of First-Class Mail will be processed and delivered.
DPD expects a 20% increase in parcel volumes, reaching a peak of 8 million parcels on 22 December.
Every year, post and delivery services hire seasonal workers to help them deliver the increased package flow. UPS, the world’s biggest package delivery company, announced in September it planned to hire 100,000 new delivery drivers, 5% more than the number of seasonal hire last year, to make sure the online orders arrive on time. FedEx is also hiring about 55,000 workers for the season, 10% more than last year. In the United States, Amazon hired thousands of its own full-time seasonal drivers across the U.S. to deliver packages from their fulfillment centers directly to customer doors. For the first time, Amazon will manage drivers directly, setting wages, providing delivery vehicles, and scheduling routes.
Post and delivery services published their recommended holiday shipping deadlines, helping customers make sure their packages arrive on time.