USPS, FedEx, UPS Report Successful Holiday Delivery Figures (Thanks to People Shipping Early)
The holiday season was a real bear for the U.S. Postal Service, with businesses and gift-givers nervous that high volume, combined with existing issues within the USPS as a result of the pandemic, would spoil the holiday season.
However, the USPS just announced that 96.9% of its shipments were on time during a two-week period in December, indicating that it handled the holiday rush almost flawlessly.
According to Fox Business, that's a noticeable improvement over the agency's 2020 numbers. This time last year, a third of first-class mail was late for the holidays.
"We're happy to have brought all of the good holiday cheer that we could," American Postal Workers Union Mark Dimondstein told Fox Business.
Satish Jindel, president of shipping data analytics company ShipMatrix, attributed the USPS's success to people shipping things early to ensure it arrived on time. This was something the USPS and others like FedEx and UPS warned about even as early as the end of the summer, imploring people to ship early if they want to be sure things arrived by Christmas.
Also in 2021, the USPS reportedly installed 112 new package sorting machines, promoted more than 60,000 pre-career employees to "career employee" status, hired 40,000 seasonal workers and acquired additional space in more than 100 locations. The USPS also reported fewer employees needing to quarantine than last year, which aided the effort. Last year, 6,500 postal workers were forced to quarantine, compared to only 1,900 this year during the holiday peak. They got those deliveries off just before the buzzer, though, as this week the USPS reported nearly 8,000 postal workers requiring quarantine, even despite the CDC's new relaxed quarantine guidelines.
UPS and FedEx also said they successfully mitigated most of the holiday shipping crunch. The two companies reportedly hired almost 200,000 additional workers to handle the holiday peak, resulting in 90% on-time delivery during the period of Dec. 12-21.
Staffing shortages and other pandemic-related issues will remain a challenge for shippers moving forward. But the holiday results are an encouraging sign that the big three are adjusting to these challenges.