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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.'"
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Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @01:08PM (#45788347)

    How about you don't wait until the 22nd or 23rd to order your gift and expect there to be 0 shipping/fulfillment issues? Yes, this is a service that has a "guaranteed" delivery date, but any common sense will tell you it's a best guess. Yes, it may be right 99% of the time, but obviously no one can predict weather, plane/truck issues, wrong inventory counts (Only 1 left in Stock!), etc.

  • Re:Thankful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anglico (1232406) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @02:03PM (#45788835)

    When I was a driver (~2000) we could only be on the road for 12 hours (13 with lunch) if I remember correctly, so whether we were finished or not, we had to be back at the building within that time frame. Every Christmas I worked as a driver we were taking packages on the way home in our cars, on our own time, to make sure people got their presents.

  • Re:Fucking WAAAA. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:16PM (#45789371) Homepage Journal

    Woah.... Who shit your Cheerios? Chill out man.

    You know, that sort of attitude is why our economy is so fucked, and why corporations get away with murder.

    A company took people's money in exchange for a promise of service, and subsequently failed to provide the service those people paid for. Why wouldn't we be pissed? Corporate America is sticking it to us again, and people are making fucking excuses for it!

    Idiots advocating against their own best interest just sticks in my craw, I guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:47PM (#45789621)

    That extra capacity carries with it some benefits, as well as a price.

    I've some experience in trucking. I know that some companies only have enough trucks to meet commitments. Other companies have a few extra trucks sitting around the yard. I don't mean 30 or 50 percent extra capacity - but maybe 10 or 15 percent.

    What good are those trucks? Well - a driver who is coming through the yard with a truck that is due (or overdue) for maintenance can bail out of his truck, and take one of the spares to complete his run. Preventive maintenance, done on schedule, can prevent breakdowns and accidents.

    That extra 10% of vehicles can pay for itself in fairly short order, really. And, when you DO have a surge, all you need is to pick up a few temporary people to put those trucks on the road, to meet the surge. I've seen it done. We had a contract come up that required tens of thousands of tons of rebar to be moved, and all those extra trucks were put on a dedicated run to help meet the deadline.

    BTW - those extra trucks are usually older, nearly worn out vehicles that have already paid for themselves, many times over. They are still roadworthy, they are paid off, they are still insured, they still pass inspection - why get rid of them? Keep a few around for whatever emergencies might happen. They've already been depreciated, so on the books they are valueless, and cost next to nothing.

    That's great, but FedEx and UPS already do that. What happened here is that they overran their 15 percent. Most companies don't have surge capacity on their surge capacity.

    The other tricky thing here is the logistics -- I'm pretty sure UPS had at least almost enough trucks and feet on the ground to do pickups and deliveries -- the problem comes from having more volume than their processing plants can process and more air deliveries than they can charter flights for. The big one is really their processing hubs, which can only scale up to max capacity -- you can't go any further, period.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?

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