Cyber Monday shoppers may be waiting longer than expected for their packages


Thanks to a surge in online orders last week, some UPS deliveries have been delayed.

UPS, which handles deliveries for numerous biggest retailers including Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy's Inc., is adding one or two days in transit time on an unspecified number of deliveries following record sales around Cyber Monday, spokesman Steve Gaut said Tuesday.

The orders on in those days exceeded projections, UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told Bloomberg, causing a "bubble" to develop at certain package centers.

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The Atlanta company is sticking with its forecast of holiday shipments of more than 750 million package deliveries between Thanksgiving and December 31, a 5 percent increase over a year ago.

The challenges during the holiday season have been increased due to the improved economy making it much harder for UPS, FedEx and other delivery companies to find the additional seasonal help necessary. But the growing popularity of online shopping has made for more packages to process and deliver. A record $6.59 billion was spent online overall, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Through a combination of new capacity and seasonal hiring, UPS expects to process almost double the normal average daily volume of more than 19 million packages and documents. UPS said this year's expected volume includes about 40 million more packages than last year's more than 712 million.

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The seasonal challenges have been compounded by the fact the improving economy has made it more hard - and expensive - to find seasonal help. The company also expects to add 95,000 temporary workers. According to ShipMatrix, parcels shipped from thousands of addresses via UPS Express service between November 27 and December 2 were on time 76.3% of the time.

As usual, UPS has leased more planes and has rented additional trucks to manage such a high volume of packages, and has assigned workers to offices across the country that are usually overloaded with business during this period.

(NYSE:UPS) is overwhelmed with the sheer volume of holiday season deliveries it's being asked to make, and is warning customers of impending delays.

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