With the Christmas holiday just a week away, retailers and shippers are scrambling to make sure that their supply chain networks are firing on all cylinders for seamless deliveries. And if things couldn’t get more hectic, today is Free Shipping Day. To date, nearly 1,200 merchants are participating in the event, from big box retailers to niche consumer goods companies. With the busiest shipping day just around the corner (Monday, December 22), let’s take a quick look at the holiday forecasts from the big 3.
UPS is predicting an 11% increase in the number of packages that it will handle during this year’s holiday season. That equates to 585 million packages delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Additionally, the company is spending a reported $500 million on improvements for the holiday season.
The US Postal Service is predicting a 14% surge in its holiday deliveries this year. That brings its total estimated number of packages delivered to 475 million. With the addition of Sunday deliveries through Christmas, this helps to alleviate some of the pains associated with delivering 475 million packages.
FedEx is forecasting a record breaking year as well, with an 8.8% increase in shipments over the holiday season. That brings the company’s total up to 290 million deliveries. To help get the job done, FedEx is looking to invest $1.2 billion in its ground-shipping network in its current fiscal year.
These numbers are impressive. In fact, between these three companies, an estimated 1.35 billion packages are delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But none of them can touch the true master of Route Optimization Excellence – Santa Claus.
Santa delivers upwards of 4 billion packages* in just one night. Sure, Santa gets to take advantage of time zones to get it done, but it is still 4+ billion deliveries in one night. Now that is a lesson in efficiency. Happy holidays.
*rough estimate based on the number of children he needs to deliver gifts to and the number of gifts each child gets – please contact me for additional information on my math.