FedEx expects a busier day than usual today
December 12, 2011
If its predictions are prescient, then today is going to be a really busy day for FedEx.
In fact, the company said late last week, that Monday, December 12 is expected to be the busiest day in its almost 40-year history, pegging today’s shipment count to check in at around 17 million, which is about twice as much a typical day’s average volume.
“There’s an extraordinary amount of technology and precision that is in place at FedEx to ensure packages get to their destinations before Christmas,” said John Dunavant, vice president of the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis, Tennessee, in a statement. “At the Memphis hub alone we will see up to three million packages speed down 42 miles of conveyor belts on our busiest December day, each one scanned an average of 23 times to ensure we know where our customers shipments are at any given time. And as busy as we are in Memphis, FedEx hubs and stations around the world are feeling the holiday surge as well.”
FedEx officials said that its “busiest day” volumes and network capacity has seen a spike of roughly 75 percent going back to 2005:
-Dec. 12, 2005 – 9.8 million shipments;
-Dec. 18, 2006 – 10.6 million shipments;
-Dec. 17, 2007 – 11.5 million shipments;
-Dec. 15, 2008 – 12.0 million shipments;
-Dec. 14, 2009 – 14.2 million shipments; and
-Dec. 13, 2010 – 15.6 million shipments.
And between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, FedEx said it forecasts an annual increase largely driven by FedEx SmartPost, a residential shipping service designed for online and catalog retailers, as well as expected increased volume at FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery.
FedEx’ biggest competitor, UPS, said in November that holiday shopping will be at its highest level on December 22, which it said is lined up to be its peak shipping day with projected delivery volume will be in the neighborhood of 26 million packages.
The company added that it is expecting to see five different days on which deliveries will approach or top the 25 million mark, with all these days occurring within the last ten days before Christmas. In 2010, UPS only had one day in which deliveries were north of 25 million.
Making the 25 million packages per day estimate even more staggering than it sounds on paper is that UPS pegs this to be about 60 percent higher volume-wise than a typical day, which checks in around 15.6 million and is the equivalent of delivering nearly 300 packages per second.
While UPS is expecting December 22 to be its peak shipping day, it is calling for December 23 to be its peak air day, with air package deliveries to be just about double the output of a typical day at 6 million compared to 3 million. On top of this, UPS will fly more than 400 additional flight segments per day during its peak week, the company said. And in terms of tracking, UPS is expecting to handle more than 58 million online tracking requests on December 20.
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