FedEx, UPS Warn Shippers of Holiday Delays
FedEx and UPS have informed retail customers to expect delays in having their orders picked up as most of their capacity for the holidays is already filled. As many as 7 million packages a day could be outside of maximum capacity for the parcel delivery services, according to estimates by ShipMatrix. Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx, told NBC News the company has been facing peak levels since March when the coronavirus started ravaging America and shoppers turned online. She said the company is now bracing for an "unprecedented peak season" and that, despite planning for months, it's likely there will be days when the "entire industry is constrained."
Total Retail's Take: One could expect such a scenario presenting itself given the massive shift to e-commerce shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. We've seen holiday shopping activity increasingly moving online in recent years, and this trend will obviously be accelerated in 2020. To help offset demand in the final weeks and days before the year-end holidays, when customers are most anxious to have orders delivered on time, the national carriers are advising retailers and brands to bring forward sales events to increase the chances of deliveries reaching customers on time for all-important days in the holiday calendar. Furthermore, many analysts have asserted that last week's Amazon Prime Day sales event will serve as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, noting that consumers are unwilling to wait till Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make their online purchases, fearing that they won't be delivered on time. Expect to see holiday purchasing more evenly spread out throughout this year's fourth quarter vs. the traditional push we've seen post-Black Friday.