UPS has a plan to increase capacity, speed process and complete deliveries in advance of the upcoming holiday season.
The carrier hopes to avoid the delivery debacle of 2013's holiday season when packages failed to arrive in time for Christmas, enraging shoppers and creating costs and headaches for retailers. By some accounts, carriers and retailers have been hard at work throughout 2014 developing solutions and putting new practices in place in advance of the holiday season.
UPS has spent a reported $500 million to increase capacity, develop mobile distribution centers and create modular bays that can expand distribution centers at peak times. UPS is adding thousands of new or leased delivery vehicles, trailers, aircraft and portable loading aids to flex capacity in its network.
The service will begin processing orders the day after Thanksgiving, one day earlier than usual, and is adding 50 new package sorting shifts.
"We are ready to deliver, and we've been working on it since Dec. 26," said Mark Wallace, VP of engineering for U.S. domestic operations at UPS. "We understand what happened so we have plans in place for 2014."
And while UPS bore the brunt of shoppers' anger over missing gifts, much of the blame falls squarely on retailers that promised delivery in time for the holiday up to a few short days before December 25.
Wallace said the company was working closely with retailers to forecast demand and predict shipping volume, according to Multichannel Merchant, but declined to say whether shipping promises on the part of major retailers would be scaled back.
-See this Multichannel Merchant story
-See this UPS press release
Retail supply chains not ready for omnichannel
40% of retailers say back-office technology hampering omnichannel efforts
Retailers can't keep up with omnichannel demands
eBay Enterprise introduces ship-from-store solution
Shipping is the 'Achilles Heel' for retailers