If you are still looking for Christmas presents to send to your friends and family, it may be too late to ship them in time.
Due to a drastic increase in online shopping this year, the demand for package delivery exceeding capacity this holiday season and stretching the delivery supply chain bleakly.
The overflow of packages and deliveries has many package sorting, distribution, and delivery workers at the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and Amazon busier than they have ever been before.
Satish Jindel, founder and president of ShipMatrix, a company that tracks shipping data and provides technology solutions to shippers, says that it is due to the stay-at-home orders and consumers’ resistance to go out and shop in crowded stores during the pandemic “have added a whole different set of volume that was not there,” prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. He further adds that even the basic day-to-day items are being ordered online and subsequently the demand has increased by approximately 30% from what it was before.
Hence the annual 30% to 40% rise in holiday package delivery is coming on top of that 30% increase that has already happened this year. Consequently, ShipMatrix expects that more than 3 billion packages will be shipped between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, rising up from 2.2 billion last year, a huge increase that exceeds the supply chain’s delivery capacity.
Initially, ShipMatrix was estimating that demand would exceed capacity by 7 million packages a day during the holiday season. However, increased hiring by shipping companies and additional overtime weekend deliveries by UPS and Postal Service have helped close the capacity shortfall. Still, about 3 to 3.5 million more packages will be left than can be delivered each day.
Platforms like FedEx and Amazon have been experiencing an unexpected rise in shipping volumes. Due to which FedEx stated that it has 70,000 new workers for the holiday season and expanded residential deliveries to seven days a week. Amazon, too promises delivery of many items right up until Christmas, has hired more than a quarter of a million new employees this year, including 100,000 for the holiday season.