UPS foresees huge holiday freight surge

United Parcel Service and other retail analysts are predicting strong growth in both online and traditional shopping this holiday season, translating into a boom in shipping volume between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

United Parcel Service and other retail analysts are predicting strong growth in both online and traditional shopping this holiday season, translating into a boom in shipping volume between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

UPS said its projected package volume will swell from roughly 15-million packages a day to more than 21-million on its busiest “peak” holiday day, which the company said should be Wednesday, Dec. 20, when it delivers 240 packages per second through its worldwide ground and air network.

On Dec. 22, UPS expects to handle its largest volume of air shipments for the year, delivering roughly 5.6-million packages, which is more than double normal volume, said Kurt Kuehn, senior vp of worldwide sales & marketing.

He added that UPS expects more than 130-million online tracking requests during “peak week” and said the daily total could exceed 25-million on “peak day.”

To accommodate this holiday freight surge, UPS said it plans to hire roughly 60,000 seasonal workers and increase its ground delivery fleet of 91,700 package cars, vans and tractors by more than 7,000 vehicles; UPS Airlines will add 31 large jets for the Thanksgiving-Christmas period.

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