They might not come from the North Pole, or wear a red and white suit when they make deliveries, but the men and women of UPS are projecting they’ll deliver more than 630 million — yes, with an m — packages between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve. In fact, they say that on Tuesday, December 22 alone they’ll deliver 36 million packages — an increase of one million packages from 2014.
“Consumer preference for online commerce is driving tremendous growth opportunities for UPS,” Alan Gershenhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, said. “Our integrated air and ground delivery network, extensive status and visibility systems and a broad portfolio of shipping solutions position UPS to best manage increasing demand driven by online commerce.”
But this convenience doesn’t come without a price for e-retailers. In a recent article on internetretailer.com, they state UPS and chief rival FedEx both raised prices by nearly five percent on average at the start of the year. Both also introduced dimensional weight pricing for ground shipments, which charges customers based on the external dimensions of the product they’re shipping rather than the weight. That meant an increase in costs for many e-retailers, especially those shipping large, lightweight items.
UPS has worked with major online retailers throughout the year to try and avoid spikes in demand around the holiday season. They are trying to smooth out those spikes and have explained to the retailers they might face rate increases if they go over their projected volumes.
Sadly every time you turn on the television news you hear about porch pirates — thieves that steal freshly delivered packages from the doorsteps of the rightful owners. There aren’t statistics on how many packages go missing each year, but the reports seem to be increasing by the day.
The porch pirates see these types of thefts as a crime of opportunity because the homes are typically empty, and they don’t have to use any force to gain access to the merchandise.
So how can you be sure the packages you send are delivered to their rightful recipients? The Orlando Sentinel offers these tips on how customers can help fight against porch pirates:
- Require a signature when your package is delivered.
- Have packages left with a trusted friend or neighbor, or delivered to you at work.
- Sign up for a service such as FedEx Delivery Manager or UPS My Choice, which allows you to specify where to leave a package and when.
- Track your packages online through a service such as USPS Tracking.
- Start or join a neighborhood watch and stay informed about community crime.
- Insure your packages.
- Report package thefts to the shipper and law enforcement as soon as possible.
UPS also offers a program called Access Point, which is where customers can pick up their package at a secure third-party location or a UPS location if they aren't at home at the time of delivery. There are roughly 8,000 Access Point locations in more than 100 markets nationwide this holiday season.