What’s happening in the world of shipping: holiday season edition
In this week’s installment of news in the shipping world, we’re taking a look at a very rosy holiday season forecast by the U.S. Postal Service®; FedEx® and UPS® ramping up their investments in ecommerce sorting facilities; and the Postal Service’s last call on a very healthy 2016 fiscal year.
This month looks poised to be a strong, but busy, holiday shipping season for all three major carriers. According to Internet Retailer, USPS, FedEx and UPS are all predicting double-digit increases in package volume through the holidays compared to last year. USPS alone is looking at an estimated 750 million packages in total for the holiday season, averaging 5 million packages per day. That amounts to a 12 percent increase over last year’s 670 million holiday shipping total. This frenzy will peak on December 22, when the U.S. Postal Service is anticipating a delivery volume of nearly 30 million parcels in just that day.
USPS isn’t the only carrier looking to have a major holiday season. FedEx announced back in September that they’re expecting a record-breaking season, delivering a projected 385 million packages, 10 percent more than last year’s 350 million. UPS is estimating to ship over 700 million packages through to the end of the holidays, nearly 17 percent more than their 2015 total of 600 million parcels.
While ecommerce continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it has often been plagued by the time-consuming “first leg” of a package’s delivery trajectory: getting from the fulfillment center to the shipping hub. FedEx and UPS are making massive investments into new, larger sorting facilities to do something about that.
UPS announced it intends to open its third-largest such facility, spanning 1.2 million square feet, outside of Atlanta as part of a multi-year development plan. The new distribution center will be capable of handling over 100,000 packages per hour. FedEx has also been ramping up its investments into package-sorting facilities, having opened four major distribution centers and another 19 fully-automated facilities over the past year, adding a grand total of more than 12 million square feet of package-sorting capability. The additions of these new FedEx and UPS facilities will help shrink that first leg of delivery and expedite a package’s journey from ecommerce provider to customer.
The U.S. Postal Service rounded out its 2016 fiscal year with a nearly 16 percent increase in its shipping and package business. USPS shipping and package services, including its Parcel Select® and Priority Mail® products, generated over $17 billion in revenue, marking a significant chunk of growth from 2015’s $14.9 billion. Total package volume for the fiscal year also rose, from 4.5 billion parcels in the previous year to 5.1 billion in 2016.
For more of the latest news and breaking developments in the world of shipping and mailing, keep checking back with Pitney Bowes Shipping Simplified.