Aaron Buchholtz wasn’t sure what to expect when peak season kicked off.
“With the pandemic and volume already high, I thought this was going to be impossible,” said the Minnesota delivery driver. “But this has been as smooth of a peak I can recall, and my customers have certainly noticed.”
Thanks to improved customer collaboration and an optimized network, UPS is showcasing an industry-best 97% on-time performance rate since October.*
“UPS is running one of the most successful peak holiday shipping seasons ever,” said UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé. “With great discipline and precision, we are delivering industry-leading on-time delivery performance – all part of our focus on ensuring we maintain a reliable delivery network that all of our customers can depend on.”
UPS made significant investments in both people and its network to ensure it meets customer expectations.
- Hired approximately 100,000 seasonal employees.
- Hired 39,000 permanent, new employees between April and June.
- Built 20 new facilities and brought on 14 additional aircraft for the peak season (in addition to the approximately 500 owned and leased aircraft in the company’s global fleet).
- Expanded weekend operations – only carrier to provide both commercial and residential pickup and delivery on Saturdays.
- Significantly improved the speed of its ground delivery network – UPS is now at parity or faster than FedEx in 22 of the 25 most populated areas of the U.S.
The company continues to work with customers to align volume with capacity.
For example, UPS is meeting commitments with its largest customers on agreed-upon volume. And if volume exceeds the plan, UPS is using its advanced technologies and tools to provide visibility into delivery windows with more available capacity. Not only does this ensure the network isn’t overwhelmed, it ensures customers of all sizes can count on UPS.
“We have been very satisfied with the level of partnership and commitment we have received from our carrier base, and especially that of UPS, and expect that to continue through the holiday season,” a Gap Inc. spokesperson said.
Added a Macy’s spokesperson: “We have partnered closely with UPS to collaborate and prioritize our shipments to make sure we are moving each customer order efficiently and timely. Overall we are happy with the degree of transparency and collaboration we have across the two organizations and will continue to work together to ensure our customer deliveries are handled appropriately throughout the holiday season.”
In addition to the planning and customer collaboration, Carol understands the main factor driving UPS’s success this peak season: UPSers.
“A huge thank you goes to each of our UPS frontline heroes, who are the heartbeat of our company,” she said.
*On-time delivery performance
UPS does not publicly report on-time delivery information. The most recently available information from ShipMatrix has shown UPS leading the industry:
- For Oct. 1-31: FedEx at 96%, UPS at 97.9% and USPS at 95.8%.
- For Nov. 1-14: FedEx at 96.5%, UPS at 97.3% and USPS at 96.6%.
- For Nov. 15-21: FedEx at 96.6%, UPS at 96.9%, and USPS at 95.4%.
- For Nov. 22-Dec. 5: FedEx at 94.9%, UPS at 96.3%, and USPS at 92.8%