The holiday shopping season is underway and UPS (NYSE:UPS) is well-prepared to deliver a record number of package shipments – 5% more than the record level set in 2018.
Each November and December the company flexes its global network muscles to meet increased demand from its diverse base of businesses, small and large. UPS serves more than 90% of major retailers and adapts to meet their consumer holiday shipping requirements, while ensuring timely delivery for its business-to-business customers who account for about 50% of UPS’s annual package delivery volume.
“This holiday season, we’ve prepared like never before,” said UPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Abney. “UPS has invested billions in our facilities, our air fleet and our workforce. We have the capacity for, and are committed to, serving the unique needs of all our customers. To our customers, I simply say: We’re ready, Let’s go! You can count on us to help you make the holiday season successful.”
During the 2019 peak holiday season, running November 29 through December 30, UPS expects to deliver an average of 32 million packages and documents per day – a 60% increase over the 20 million delivered on an average, non-peak day. This year, the company has the capacity to flex its network like never before. In 2019, UPS added about five million square feet of highly automated facilities, including nearly 400,000 pieces per hour of sortation capacity. The company has opened six new automated super-hubs around the U.S. in the last two years.
Successfully delivering about three quarters of a billion holiday gifts, medical supplies, auto parts, computer equipment and legal documents in about one month takes seamless integration of engineering and transportation expertise with a healthy dose of UPS’s can-do culture.
Expanded Technology-Driven Operations
This year, the UPS global network is stronger than ever, after investments and enhancements in both ground and air capabilities, including:
- Twenty new and retrofitted highly automated facilities (in addition to 22 in 2018).
- Eleven new large aircraft, adding more than 2.5 million pounds of payload, joining a fleet of about 550 aircraft serving more than 800 airports in 220 countries and territories around the world each day.
- Deeper deployment of network management and optimization technologies like the UPS® Peak Volume Alignment Tool (PVAT), a proprietary network planning tool including origin and destination capacity modeling for optimizing asset utilization; Network Planning Tools (NPT), which combines advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and operations research to help avoid bottlenecks by coordinating tractor-trailer movements between sortation hubs; and Dynamic Sort Instruction (DSI), which transforms a highly complex package sorting process into a simple scan, instruction and sort process.
Seasonal Workers Find Career-Long Employment
UPS is well on its way to hiring 100,000 seasonal employees to help meet customer commitments during the holiday season. Earlier this month, the company held a one-day seasonal hiring blitz called UPS Brown Friday, with a goal of bringing 50,000 candidates through the company’s doors in one day. In fact, turnout was more than double that target.
Even in a competitive labor market, seasonal jobs at UPS stand out. Competitive base salaries and industry-leading benefits including tuition reimbursement, are just the beginning. Prospective candidates come to UPS because they know seasonal jobs can become a career. In fact, more than 1-in-3, or about 125,000, permanent UPS employees in the U.S. started their careers in a UPS seasonal role.
Customized Programs for a Broad Range of Customers
This year, UPS introduced several new products, services and platforms designed to help small and medium size business (SMB) customers grow their businesses and optimize their supply chain and logistics costs. The company elevated support for SMBs as one of its four strategic growth initiatives. The others include Healthcare and Life Sciences, International Growth Markets and E-commerce.
“More than ever, the 2019 holiday season proves UPS puts customers’ needs first,” said UPS Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren. “That starts with eliminating residential peak season surcharges, and extends into a wide range of new services that complement our industry-leading portfolio of offerings.”
Many businesses also can take advantage of the UPS EASY holiday promotion, which provides 20% off domestic U.S. ground shipping and a 40% discount on Domestic and International Air, plus UPS® Standard to Mexico and Canada.
Service enhancements in 2019 now provide UPS customers with:
- The fastest ground service the company has ever offered, with transit-time improvements across numerous origin and destination lanes.
- Weekend service with pickup and delivery for commercial and residential customers covering the top metro areas. UPS is the only major U.S. provider of Saturday pickups for all service levels (International, Air, Ground, and SurePost® services). The company offers Ground residential delivery on Saturday, complemented by qualifying residential deliveries on Sundays.
- Late-night pickup with UPS Extended Hours®, and local next-day ground delivery within 150 miles, covering about 98% of the U.S. population, the largest next day local territory in the industry.
- The most robust UPS Access Point Network ever, with the recent addition of nearly 6,000 convenient locations for pickup and returns, now at Michaels Stores, CVS Pharmacy and selected Advance Auto Parts locations.
- UPS® Simple Rate, a predictable flat rate option to anywhere in the U.S. using UPS 2nd Day Air®, UPS 3 Day Select® and UPS Ground®. With UPS® Simple Rate, shippers can enhance brand visibility by using their own packaging while still obtaining flat rate pricing.
- New levels of convenience and control over inbound and outbound shipments with UPS My Choice for Business, enabling SMBs to provide enhanced customer service.
- Innovative services purpose-built to make it easier and faster for SMBs to build, manage and grow online, including the UPS Digital Access Program, which integrates UPS technology and delivery services with proven ecommerce platforms.
“We have the right strategies in place to help our customers make the most of the holiday season, with extensive forecasting, expanded ground and air capacity, effective onboarding to bring an army of seasonal employees up to speed, and the products and services that help all our customers meet high expectations this time of year,” Abney said. “We look forward to another successful peak season.”