Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Christmas Cheer Transportation News

Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries 378

Posted by timothy
from the coordinating-unknowns-is-hard dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that the high volume of online orders of holiday packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS delaying the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe and sending angry consumers to social media to vent. The company projected 132 million deliveries last week "and obviously we exceeded that," said UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black without disclosing how many packages had been sent. "For now, UPS is really focused on delivering the remaining packages. You might not see trucks, but people are working." Asked why the company underestimated the volume of air packages it would receive, Black noted that previous severe weather in the Dallas area had already created a backlog. Then came "excess holiday volume" during a compressed time frame, since the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was shorter than usual this year. Amazon.com responded with an email to affected customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate. Packages shipped via UPS for Amazon.com by Prime customers, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping, may be eligible for additional refunds. Amazon's stated policy for missed deliveries is to offer a free one-month extension of Prime. Frustrated consumers took to social media, with some complaining that gifts purchased for their children would not arrive in time to make it under the tree by Christmas morning. '"A lot of these employees keep saying 'It's the weather' or 'It's some kind of a backlog,' said Barry Tesh. 'Well then why, all the way up until the 23rd, were they offering next-day delivery? That guaranteed delivery was 80% of my decision to buy the gift."' However, others on social media urged shoppers to be more appreciative of the delivery company's work during the holiday season. 'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page. 'So when you see your family and complain that your package is held up, everyone who moves your package is working and doesn't get the Xmas experience you get, Be thankful for that.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries

Comments Filter:
  • Fucking WAAAA. (Score:2, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @01:18PM (#45788429) Homepage Journal

    'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page. 'So when you see your family and complain that your package is held up, everyone who moves your package is working and doesn't get the Xmas experience you get, Be thankful for that.'"

    Hey, fuck you, buddy. They told you that shit about not taking time off during the busiest shipping season of the year when you took the job 20 fucking years ago, and probably reminded you every year since, so don't try to play the fucking victim here. Plus, "Dur, I had to work" is a really, really piss-poor excuse for failing to meet your work obligations, now isn't it?

    I don't really get to take a lot of time off, period, but you don't see me using that as an excuse to suck at my job.

    Side note: My wife ordered me a new watch on Dec. 4, shipped via UPS.

    The current arrival date is sometime after Jan. 4.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @01:35PM (#45788561)

    True story: UPS has handed off a lot of its last-leg delivery to the USPS, especially in rural areas. Those routes were never profitable for UPS so now they only deliver as far as the local post office, which doesn't exactly put a priority on delivering someone else's packages, so they may sit for a while before getting loaded on the USPS trucks for final delivery.
    This happened to us 2 years ago - we'd ordered some stuff that would not arrive before we went to visit relatives, so (with their permission) we had it shipped to their house. According to the online tracking, it sat in their post office for two days before USPS deigned to deliver it. Fortunately, the packages were still "on time" that time, but we did have some worries over it.

  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @01:52PM (#45788729) Journal

    UPS stopped making any promises mid-December, as did FedEx. They knew, and were honest and upfront about it. What more can you ask of them? You should be asking why Amazon was still making promises they knew they couldn't stand behind.

  • Meh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @01:55PM (#45788765)

    First, The UPS "guaranteed on-schedule delivery" already includes the following:

    The guarantee does not apply to UPS shipments that are delayed due to causes beyond UPS's control, including, but not limited to, the following:
    [SNIPPED some basic things, strikes, acts of god, government, customs, etc.]
    disruptions in air or ground transportation networks, such as weather phenomena; and natural disasters.
    The guarantee does not apply to UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select, and UPS Ground shipments that are picked up or scheduled to be delivered between December 12 and December 25.

    http://www.ups.com/media/en/terms_service_us.pdf [ups.com]

    Can you read that? Christmas is excluded. The whole Christmas season is excluded. ...and they're still offering compensation.

    Good guy UPS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @02:10PM (#45788891)

    Surge capacity is expensive and hard to prove of value. So the bean counters don't like it. But they could have I think, for a nominal fee, booked more charter flights, contractors etc. on stand by in case of need.

    Oh hey guys, look, another armchair quarterback on the internet who is absolutely certain that FedEx and UPS, with their multi-billion dollar operations, missed some obvious, easy, and cheap solution to this problem! Color me shocked.

    The reason bean counters don't like paying for "surge capacity" is because "surge capacity" is often left unused, because it is insurance for the rare-to-never case where things completely shit the bed. FedEx and UPS *have* surge capacity built in - what happened this year is that their surge capacity wasn't able to keep up with the actual volume of packages funneling through their systems. Three days before Christmas is a bit too late to begin arranging 'surge capacity' for the holiday season - there's not much volume available for hire at that point, and the planes are frequently not where you want them to be, too, which means they'd have to scramble to fly pilots around to the planes all over the country (or world) where they're parked, fly them to their destination to pick up their cargo, and do this in the space of 12-24 hours in order to get the capacity in place to make a difference for holiday shipments. Then they also need the capacity on the ground in their receiving facilities and delivery trucks to be able to ship everything on time, as well.

    When your business is built-on "just in time" delivery, a late surge and weather-based delays can really fuck up your transportation chain no matter how hard you plan. In most cases, it's better to eat some penalties and freebies to angry customers receiving late packages than it is to spend millions or billions scrambling at the last minute to get every last package there on time.

  • Re:Fucking WAAAA. (Score:2, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:14PM (#45789347) Homepage Journal

    Wow aren't you the entitled little prick?

    Well, I paid them damn good money for a service they failed to deliver.

    So yea, I am, and regardless of your attempts to marginalize the fact, I have every right to be.

    Welcome to capitalism, bitch.

    These guys are working their asses off well over a normal work week full of hours to try and fulfill a larger than predicted volume of demand doing physical work and THIS is your attitude?

    They got paid, right? Probably overtime, too.

    Meanwhile, I had to do my unfulfilling job for regular pay. Where's my pity party? Oh, that's right, I'm not a narcissistic little bitch who can't do his job and blames everyone else for his own failings, so I guess I don't get one. Bumtown.

    Don't you get that it's not about gifts?

    You obviously don't, or else I wouldn't have to keep repeating "capitalism" as if I were talking to some sort of idiot savant.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:29PM (#45789493) Homepage Journal

    All this revenue that could be pulled by the one time largest shipper in the US, but for some reason, they keep losing billions a year.

    No, they aren't "losing billions a year."

    It just looks that way, because the USPS is the only government body that's required (thanks to Congressional legislation) to fund ALL retirements and pensions through the next decade.

    If it were allowed to be ran like any other government agency, the Post Office would actually be doing OK.

  • Re:Fucking WAAAA. (Score:4, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @04:13PM (#45789799)

    Maybe; I was raised in a capitalist society, after all...

    Well then, what are you complaining about? The company has decided that its current level of effort maximizes its expected profits. Sucks for you, but that's usually the outcome for the weaker party to a deal in a capitalist society (or any society, for that matter).

  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @08:25PM (#45792041) Homepage Journal

    Meh. It's nothing but an excuse.

    I've never had UPS deliver a package on time, regardless of the time of year.

    I'm surprised at FedEx falling behind, but not UPS. UPS is THE worst package delivery service on the planet.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...