Holiday season on-time delivery performance is shining so far

For the first three weeks of the holiday shipping season, ShipMatrix data shows that the on-time delivery performance of FedEx, UPS, and USPS is strong, coming in at 95.1%, 97.6%, and 97.8%, respectively.

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The holiday delivery shopping and shipping seasons have distinctly different goals and objectives or consumers and carriers and logistics service providers, alike.

For consumers, one goal, or perhaps more appropriately, mission, is to get holiday shopping done in a timely and efficient manner, and get all the gift items for friends and family crossed off their lists in a manner that ensures that Christmas does not turn into “Stress”-mas. And for carriers that goal is to move deliver all of the aforementioned consumers’ orders delivered where to need to go, without a high level of stress and disturbances.

So, how are things going so far? Well, so far, things appear to be going very well.

That has been made very clear in data issued this month by , a subsidiary of .

In an update issued last week, ShipMatrix said: “The retailers shipping Christmas gifts to consumers should be having a Christmas already. Unlike the past few years, when some carriers experienced service issues from huge spike in volume, this year, , , and have consistently achieved [the] highest level of on-time delivery. That is a clear affirmation that their networks are well positioned to handle 72 million packages per day (which compares with 45 million per day during non-peak season) currently moving through their network.”

When looking at ShipMatrix data for the first three weeks of the holiday shipping season, that sentiment carries even more weight, with the on-time delivery performance of FedEx, UPS, and USPS coming in at 95.1%, 97.6%, and 97.8%, respectively.

Yes, those are terrific numbers in every way, and ShipMatrix noted that it also serves as very good news for retailers who can continue to promote online sales, while knowing consumers will received their orders on time.

And, in the update, SJ Matrix also provided some pieces of advice for both B2B and B2C customers of FedEx, UPS and USPS, including: for overnight service, shippers should use the end of the day services instead of the time definite ones, customers shipping orders on Monday may find those parcels will have lower on-time delivery; and the consumers should check for the packages in all areas outside before calling the retailers or the carriers on the status of their packages.

SJ Consulting President Satish Jindel told me last week that 2018 is the best performance for the industry, in terms of handling holiday volume spikes and maintaining a high level of service over the last seven-to-eight years.

“This is across the board for express and deferred offerings,” he said. “They are all performing very well. It is a combination of all of them [FedEx, UPS, and USPS], especially the two big ones, having to move packages across the country, which poses challenges greater than that of the USPS, which primarily delivers within cities,” he said. “They have finally seen the benefit of investing in their systems for things like network capacity and predictive analytics of where deliveries will take place, not where they will be picking them up from.”

While things are running at an effective and smooth level now, Jindel cautioned customers not to wait until the last minute to place online orders and then be surprised if they do not arrive in time. That was a hard lesson learned for many during the “Polar Vortex” of 2014, when crippling winter weather prevented timely delivery of orders that were placed only a few days before Christmas.

“Nature and God are more powerful than all human beings combined,” he said. “When events like that happen, you cannot blame anyone for it other than yourself for waiting for the last day or week to order something you knew you would need. Nobody should have sympathy for consumers being so lethargic and late in placing orders. They should accept the challenges and not blame someone else.”

Potential weather challenges aside, things appear to be moving in the right direction this holiday season, and the ShipMatrix data more than backs that up.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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