- UPS maintained its edge while FedEx posted a sizable improvement in on-time deliveries during the 2022 peak season, according to a firm that tracks national carrier performance.
- Between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, UPS led the way with 97.5% of parcels delivered on time, followed by FedEx (95.2%) and the U.S. Postal Service (94.3%), ShipMatrix said in a news release Thursday. ShipMatrix's on-time data is based on millions of parcels shipped from more than 100,000 locations, factoring in each carrier's specific delivery commitment times.
- During the 2021 peak season, on-time performance was 96.9% for UPS, 88.2% for FedEx and 96.5% for the Postal Service.
UPS keeps lead in peak season delivery reliability
Carriers performed well during the busy 2022 holiday shipping season after expanding capacity for the past two years, ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel said in an email. They were also aided by volumes not increasing during peak, which he said "resulted from more consumers shopping at stores, more spending on services and inflation taking a bite out of their budgets."
Notably, ShipMatrix's figures did not factor in delays stemming from severe winter weather in the days leading up to Christmas, which it said affected more than 10 million parcels. That is due to "industry practice of excluding delays that are out of control of the carriers," per its release.
Still, the strong results underscore carriers' efforts to improve their networks and keep them running smoothly during the busy period, after the pandemic-influenced challenges of 2020 and 2021.
A UPS spokesperson said in a statement that the company had a successful peak "as a result of close collaboration with our customers, investments in additional capacity where needed, and controlling the volume coming into our network to ensure outstanding reliability."
FedEx doesn't typically comment on third-party data as it "can vary widely based on the specific markets, customers and shipping lanes they choose for their analyses," a spokesperson said in an email. But President and CEO Raj Subramaniam touted on a Dec. 20 earnings call that its Ground unit was "delivering holiday shipments to more locations than our nearest competitor."
"Our Ground service is now back to pre-pandemic levels, supported by continued enhancements to our route optimization and package handler scheduling technologies," Subramaniam added.
As for the Postal Service, the agency said in a news release Friday that it maintained a 2.5-day average to deliver a mailpiece or package through the holiday season, despite the seasonal increase in volumes. In an emailed statement, it highlighted network investments made to improve service but didn't directly address ShipMatrix's data.