Peak Package Image

Another holiday season, another massive surge in package volume. This year will be bigger than the last – which was a record-breaking year. It may be an understatement to say the dramatic growth in online shopping continues unabated.

Not surprising, then, that the U.S. Postal Service is projecting a double-digit increase in package volume this holiday season. UPS expects to deliver a record 700 million packages between Thanksgiving and December 31, an increase of more than 16 percent. FedEx is also projecting a record-breaking year, with volume about 10 percent higher than last year, totaling roughly 370 million packages.

Customer satisfaction has been a priority for carriers after problems handling the onslaught of packages the past few holiday seasons. To help ensure a smooth peak season, the major players are ramping up seasonal hiring. Amazon plans to bring on 120,000 seasonal workers, UPS about 95,000, FedEx 50,000, and the Postal Service 35,000.

The stakes are especially high this year as online holiday shopping is predicted to top $91 billion, up 11 percent over 2015, according to Adobe's 2016 Digital Insights Shopping Predictions. Cyber Monday (today!) is expected to bring in almost $3.4 billion, up nearly $30 million from 2015. About 40 percent of people in the United States are expected to shop online on Cyber Monday.

In addition to taking our poll (at right), please tell us: Were you among the 40 percent of Americans who shopped online on Cyber Monday? Will you order more or less online this year? Are you making changes to your buying habits to ensure your packages are delivered before Christmas? What else can be done to ensure a smooth holiday shipping season?

Comments (14)

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  • anon

    I don't know if I am reporting abuse because I haven't been able to find out where to look to find out if mail picked up by your carrier is supposed to go out that day, or if it is okay for it to just sit at the post office until the following mail day. Can someone answer that for me? If so, thanks very much.

    Jan 08, 2017
  • anon

    USPS absolutely stinks. The carriers are either incompetent or thieves. Packages left on the ground in the rain during the summer and in the snow bank during the winter. That's if they are even delivered to the correct address. Or not lost or stolen by the carrier. Harsh words, i know, but after years of dismal service and thousands of dollars in lost or stolen or miss-directed merchandise, well, i've had it. Perhaps the Republican Congress is correct. We need to do away with the USPS entirely. They simply are not worth it, they are not capable, and they obviously do not care. So my little tirade here will join millions of others, mostly unspoken. Once upon a time i could gladly envision higher postal rates to preserve and enhance a vital service, now i can't imagine being unhappy when the USPS ceases to exist.

    Jan 01, 2017
  • anon

    I had mailed out an international package from long island, ny and instead of it going right to jfk customs (like I thought it would ), they shipped my package to virginia and then finally back up to nyc jfk after 6 days! I mailed this item on 12/12 and it's STILL here in the usa! It just now reached customs yesterday! They wasted 5 good days bouncing my package around and now it will not be on time for Christmas! The other package I mailed too to the same country and that one ended up in Virginia too and since 12/14 there has been update to where my INTERNATIONAL package is! That was ALSO a Christmas gift that's ALSO not going to get there on time! I paid a lot of money for these 2 packages and they aren't even out of the country after almost 1 week! Thanks for nothing usps!

    Dec 18, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for your comments. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and many of these issues fall outside of our jurisdiction. However, we do read all blog comments and pass on relevant information to our auditors and investigators. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, 1 (800) 275-8777, or to file an online complaint with Customer Service (and for frequently asked questions), go to the USPS Website and enter "Customer Service Help" in the search function. ÔÇ£

    Dec 12, 2016
  • anon

    Deliver on sundays again please!!

    Dec 11, 2016
  • anon

    So far we are very dissatisfied with the package delivery from usps

    Dec 03, 2016
  • anon

    We are now entering what rural carriers sarcastically call the Non-overtime period. Technically this is the time where USPS can use its full complement of employees to perform heroic duty getting all the mail our to our local customers by Christmas...However...Management will do everything in its power to Never pay overtime to rural carriers. The one little bone to these hard working employees has become a twisted effort by management to manipulate their times....And you wonder why the "postal Pulse' results are dismal and that the response rate is the worst ever recorded by the organization taking the poll? Merry Christmas to our wonderful customers...Bah Humbug to those in charge.

    Dec 03, 2016
  • anon

    I guess that works both way. My carrier complains about having to pick up a package left on my front step for pick up even though she is already getting some kind of premium pay to deliver a package that day. Even when I know a package is coming from USPS on a day, she wants me to go online and fill out a pick up request as she can get paid more to take a package at my front door when she is already being paid to drop a package at my front door. Just last week she scanned a package as having been delivered, but instead left me a note for me to come to the PO and get it myself. None of the substitutes ever do this, but she is a senior employee and treats me like she is doing me a big favor to even bring my mail. It is sooooo obvious that she HATES her job. Bummer!

    Jan 08, 2017
  • anon

    I have ordered two packages stating delivered to porch and were not received one of which is my daughters Christmas present its ridiculous cause just because it states delivered I receive my smaller packages but the bigger ones are missing I will no longer be ordering anything that has to be delivered by a mail carrier only store pick up or fed ex that I have to sign for cannot trust anyone I have heard of mail carriers stealing mail and packages but this is ridiculous someone is always home and would have seen a package on my porch especially when my blind are open all the time

    Dec 03, 2016
  • anon

    I was to receive 3 checks from Hawai'i in November. Our regular carrier was on vacation. It was delivered to the wrong address as receiver wrote 'wrong address' Instead of trying again since this was a preprinted address, my checks were sent back to Hawai'i. Why didn't someone note what address they were sent to or try again??? I did not get the checks until I went to Hawai'i in May when I learned they had been returned to sender instead of looking at the address and noting it had been mis delivered???

    Dec 02, 2016
  • anon

    I don't want to sound like a Scrooge, but this huge push propagated solely by capitalist intentions is a huge turn off to me. I'm not religious, but isn't Christmas a religious holiday? Where is humanity in all of this? I can't blame USPS for taking advantage of this madness. It's paramount to their survival. Indeed, the big picture is a spoiler. Makes me feel like we're all just wondering through our existence.

    Nov 29, 2016
  • anon

    postal service is more secured to delivered documents packages compared to emails messages are very risk to us.

    Nov 29, 2016
  • anon

    It would help me to know how to make my residential porch/stairwell easier for the USPS workers to drop off packages. Sometimes they are heavy, other times they are lightweight but there are a few at once. Would a table help? A sign noting where to leave packages larger than letters? I appreciate the service USPS provides. Thank you.

    Nov 29, 2016
  • anon

    I have not received any mail since November 25, 2016. Now, i am sitting here waiting for mail at 5:44 pm and nothing has come. This is truly ridiculous when my regular mailperson is off, incompetent people start delivering the mail. This is totally inexcusable.As i have said, my regular mailperson is awesome but i don't think we should have people that don't do their job. Last year at this very time, i went through the same thing. Right now, i am waiting for a letter i should have been received. No body seems ro care when we can't get our mail.

    Nov 28, 2016

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