UPS & FedEx Look to Not Repeat 2013 Christmas Delivery Problems - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UPS & FedEx Look to Not Repeat 2013 Christmas Delivery Problems

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - As Santa prepares for his big delivery night, UPS and FedEx are making sure the end of their holiday delivery seasons don't leave people saying, "humbug."

The end of the holiday shipping season was a mess last year for America's two largest package delivery companies. The companies suffered a major PR hit as lots of people were left empty spots under their Christmas trees.

Neither FedEx nor UPS wanted to see that happen again.

As both a UPS and a FedEx truck circled around the Village at Blue Hen in Dover Tuesday, Roberto Santiago got a delivery.

"My doorbell rang. I looked outside and saw the UPS truck taking off. I received a Christmas package," he said. "I don't know exactly what it is. I ordered so much stuff online. But it's a Christmas present. I think it's for my wife."

Monday was actually the busiest day of the season for UPS - more than 34 million packages delivered. Last Monday was the busiest for FedEx - about 23 million packages delivered.

Both companies reported no significant issues this season. That's a far cry from last year.

Lots of people, including Dotty Dempsey, of Kent County, didn't get their presents when they expected.

"I checked the tracking number about every hour on the hour," Dempsey told WBOC at the time. "This morning the first thing we did was check it again to see if it was close or if it was in Harrington or could we go get it."

The problems last year were the result of awful weather nationwide around Christmas and a surge in late orders that overloaded the delivery systems.

This year FedEx hired about 25 percent more seasonal workers. UPS upped its seasonal hires by 11 percent over last year. UPS spent half a billion dollars on upgrading its systems and processes since last Christmas.

Online retailers continue to push the delivery companies. As an example, Amazon had an extra day of free shipping this year.

"I shop with Amazon mostly. I have two-day free shipping. They've always come on time," said Santiago. "Tomorrow is my last day that I'm going to have some stuff shipped down. I've got a few more gifts coming." Santiago told WBOC he was confident everything was going to arrive on time.

So far FedEx and UPS are doing better than they were in 2013. ShipMatrix says FedEx deliveries were on on time 96 percent of the time. That's compared to 90 percent last year. UPS had 95 percent of its deliveries show up on time. Last year the number was 92 percent.

According to the website easypost.com, Tuesday is basically the last day to ship with all the major carriers - including the postal service - and have things arrive in time for Christmas. One of the rare exceptions - FedEx Same Day service will deliver both Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. But it is quite expensive.

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