In January, we wrote a post title “Lessons from the Holiday 2013 Hacking and Shipping Fiasco.” That post dealt with the shipping delays by UPS and FedEx so that some shoppers did not get their presents delivered until after Christmas 2013.
To make sure that this big problem does not occur again for the 2014 holiday shopping season, UPS and FedEx have both undertaken a number of initiatives.
UPS is being particularly active in two ways: (1) asking retailers to move up their last dates for guaranteed deliveries of online orders and (2) beefing up its own infrastructure.
FIRST, as Laura Stevens, Suzanne Kapner, and Shelly Banjo report for the Wall Street Journal:
“UPS is trying to persuade E-commerce companies to hold their big sales in mid-December instead of in the countdown to Dec. 25. It also wants them to stagger special offers geographically — so a GoPro camera might be on sale one day in Texas and a different day in Florida. Perhaps most of all, UPS is lobbying retailers to banish any and all free overnight-shipping offers on Dec. 23, as well as promotional E-mails going out that day.”
“If all else fails, UPS executives say they can’t guarantee they will ship anything that exceeds what retailers projected. UPS CEO David Abney says his company is more focused on providing retailers with options than cutting them off. ‘But,’ he adds, ‘you can’t just encourage everyone to say, ‘Hey, just wait and ship the last day.’”
Click the chart to see a WSJ video.
SECOND, as Mike O’Brien reports for Multichannel Merchant:
“UPS [has] plans for ensuring that delivery issues which plagued the 2013 holiday shopping season aren’t a rerun this year, including a $500 million capital outlay to fund initiatives like a 5% increase in sort capacity and a 10% increase in delivery capacity. Plans also call for use of a mobile distribution center than can be transported across the country by rail, as well as modular additions that can add bays to existing facilities to handle increased demand during peak periods.”
“‘We are ready to deliver, and we’ve been working on it since Dec. 26,” said Mark Wallace, vice-president of engineering for U.S. domestic operations at UPS. ‘We understand what happened so we have plans in place for 2014.’”
Click the image to read more from O’Brien.