‘Shop and ship early. That means now’: FedEx, UPS prepare for holiday strains, delays

Package delivery companies FedEx and UPS are gearing up for the holiday season.

With Black Friday just about a month away and many companies offering monthlong deals to prevent single-day crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic, lots of mail is in circulation, and a surge is expected in the coming weeks.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, FedEx and UPS have told some shippers they have already nearly reached capacity for shipping orders.

Representatives for the companies said additional trailers with excess orders, including holiday packages, will have to wait to be picked up.

“There will be days within the holiday season where the industry will be over capacity,” FedEx Chief Marketing Officer Brie Carere told the Journal.

“This will be an unprecedented peak season, and there will be days within the holiday season where the entire industry is constrained,” she said in an interview with NBC News.

COVID-19 shutdowns and precautions have resulted in a dramatic increase in online sales this year as people have shopped from home.

Ahead of Black Friday, Walmart and other companies have announced days-long sales and discounts online to encourage customers to shop safely while public health agencies have continued to encourage social distancing.

ShipMatrix Inc., a software company that analyzes parcel shipping data, estimates 7 million packages will oversaturate the shipping industry each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

ShipMatrix executive Satish Jindel told the Journal he estimates about 80 million packages, not including the excess shipments, will circulate each day during that time.

“Consumers should be prepared for deliveries to take extra days no matter which carrier is delivering their parcels,” Jindel told the Journal.

Carere echoed that sentiment: “If you’re shopping out there, we really encourage you to shop and ship early and really that means now. You know, as a mom, I’m going to try to get all of my shopping done by Nov. 1,” she told NBC News.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

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