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UPS handed heavy backlog in last days before Christmas

December 27, 2013

Consumers purchased extremely large quantities of products from online payment processing terminals in the last days before Christmas.

Consumers purchased extremely large quantities of products from online payment processing terminals in the last days before Christmas. In fact, so many transactions were completed between consumers and e-commerce companies that many deliveries were left unfulfilled as a result of the shockingly high volume

The Associated Press recently reported that individuals in Alabama, California, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and many other states all reported not receiving orders they placed with online retailers that were scheduled to be delivered before the holidays. Natalie Godwin, a spokeswoman for United Parcel Service, told The Associated Press that extra workers had to be brought into company locations on Wednesday night to sort out backlogged packages, which would then be delivered on Thursday and Friday. 

”We apologize that our customers did not receive their packages on Christmas,” Godwin told the news outlet.

Many retailers failed to fulfill all the orders they processed
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that many online retail companies, including Amazon.com and Wal-Mart, failed to provide items they had promised to deliver prior to Christmas Day as a result of unexpectedly large volumes of orders being placed in the days leading up to the holiday. 

UPS representatives determined late on Tuesday that they would fail to deliver a number of goods scheduled for delivery prior to Christmas on time, according to the report. The backlog was attributed to unusually high order volumes at online credit card payment processing pages in the last days before the holiday. FedEx customers also reported to the Wall Street Journal that they had not received scheduled deliveries, however a company spokesman noted that it had not experienced significant delays. 

“The volume of air packages in the UPS system did exceed capacity as demand was much greater than our forecast,” a UPS spokeswoman told The Journal.

UPS had expected to process roughly 7.75 million packages through its air network on Monday, according to the report. However, the actual number of packages processed – a large percentage of them due to orders placed at online credit card terminals – was much larger. UPS delivers roughly 45 percent of all packages shipped in the U.S.

Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told the Journal that approximately 15 percent of consumers who place orders online prior to a given company’s cutoff date for holiday delivery still fail to receive their products prior to Christmas.

“Retailers think they can take orders up to the last minute, but they just can’t pick and pack fast enough,” Mulpuru told the news outlet.

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