UPS vs. FedEx: A Comparison of On-Time Delivery Performance This Holiday Season
For week 49, on-time performance from both UPS and FedEx dropped significantly. FedEx is at 91 percent, while UPS is at 87.5 percent, compared to a 95 percent-plus rate in week 48 for both carriers. This should come as no surprise since week 49 is the first inclusion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shipments.
Reports are that Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers spent 20 percent more than last year. Recently, one of Shipware’s partners told us most of its e-commerce and retail customers significantly underestimated their demand during peak.
Both carriers have cited weather-related delays in Colorado, Utah, New England and the Upper Midwest, but neither Memphis (FedEx's headquarters) nor Louisville (UPS Air Operations headquarters) were severely impacted.
Retailers should plan for a similar degradation in on-time delivery performance as we reach the final shipping days of the shortened holiday season. Furthermore, retailers should consider recommending or subsidizing expedited services to ensure delivery by Christmas even if ground transit times are stated by the carriers as acceptable. Adding transparent communication to online checkout pages about the risks of delays due to a nationwide surge in shipments can encourage upgrades to expedited shipping methods and otherwise help prevent some customer frustrations on late deliveries.
Keith Myers is a senior consultant at Shipware, an industry leader in shipping intelligence and optimization