Carriers hit by e-commerce surge Cyber Weekend

Due to the overwhelming surge in online sales during Cyber Weekend, on-time performance figures for UPS were down, according to ShipMatrix.

The company tracked millions of packages shipped from hundreds of U.S. retailers for the period of Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, and on-time performance was down to 91 percent from 97 percent in 2014, reported Multichannel Merchant.

The exception was FedEx, which doesn't deliver as many residential packages as UPS. Its figure was up slightly, 95.1 percent compared to 95 percent last year.

The performance issues were due to a larger than expected surge in Cyber Week e-commerce transactions. According to Adobe, Black Friday sales alone were up 14 percent from 2014. And comScore reported that the stretch between Thanksgiving and Cyber Week included nine consecutive billion-dollar desktop shopping days for the first time ever in history.

UPS had projected a 10 percent increase in volume between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, the company hired 95,000 seasonal employees and FedEx hired 55,000.

"UPS did experience some high-impact areas driven by volume that came to some of our sites at levels greater than the original peak plan for those locations," UPS spokesperson Natalie Godwin-Norrington told Multichannel Merchant. "This is a typical phenomenon during peak, as actual experience with retailers tendering shipments always varies at the hub level versus our plans. Every year we add additional personnel in high-impact locations to manage the workload."

Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, looked at over 130,000 shoppers' surveys about on-time delivery of their full orders from Dec. 1 through 10, and the trend was clearly downward.

"On-time delivery is quite important to maintaining customer loyalty, especially when there is a holiday or event deadline," said Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights. "The 2 percent drop that we see across this 10 day period alone equates to tens of thousands disappointed gift buyers."

For more:
-See this Multichannel Merchant article

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