- The United States Postal Service expects to deliver 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's this year, according to a press release.
- While significant, the figure falls shy of the Postal Service's 2018 and 2017 holiday projections which anticipated 900 million and 850 million packages would be delivered, respectively, over the same time period.
- USPS also announced it will expand Sunday delivery to locations with traditionally high package volumes starting Nov. 24. According to the release it expects to deliver more than eight million packages on Sundays in December.
The significant decline in projected parcel volume, a USPS spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive, can be attributed to "intense competition" in the shipping industry, and Thanksgiving falling later in November this year.
According to the Postal Service's third quarter earnings report, total package volume declined for the first time in nine years, down 47 million pieces, or 3.2% from the same period last year.
The decline was "a reflection of industry in-sourcing of last-mile delivery Parcel Select," David Partenheimer, a media relations manager at USPS, told Supply Chain Dive via email, potentially indicating the impact of increasing competition from the Postal Service's private sector peers.
UPS is preparing for what it expects to be a "record-breaking" peak season, as it says it plans to hire 100,000 seasonal employees. The company expects to "nearly double" the daily average of 20 million deliveries per day, UPS COO Jim Barber said in a statement.
UPS' CIO and Chief Engineering Officer Juan Perez has credited the company's automation efforts with its growth and enhanced capacity to handle growing e-commerce volumes.
USPS has also explored automation and recently announced a partnership with Nvidia to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) parcel processing solutions to increase sortation speed and accuracy.