United Parcel Service (UPS), the leading package delivery services company in the world received mixed praises and blame over its delayed Christmas deliveries. As announced by the company last Tuesday, it was not be able to deliver some packages in time for Christmas due to the larger than expected volume of deliveries. According to Susan Rosenberg, UPS spokeswoman, “The volume of air packages in the UPS system did exceed capacity as demand was much greater than our forecast.”
Based on earlier estimates, the company expected to deliver more than 132 million packages around the world during the week leading to Christmas and about 7.75 million packages on Monday alone. However, its Louisville, Kentucky hub failed to process an estimated 3.5 million packages.
Another United Parcel Service spokeswoman, Natalie Black, citing the huge backlog said that the company is sorry and added that employees are working hard to fulfill all commitments. She admitted, however, that most packages will not reach destinations until Thursday or Friday because some drivers are still off on the holiday as planned.
The current confusion and the explanations provided did not sit well with disappointed UPS customers. Most of them vented their ire on the company’s Facebook page. A certain Joe Guy said that if the company continued with these lapses “…UPS should always remember there is a FedEx around the corner.”
Michael Larsen, meanwhile, mentioned that even though he sent his packages early, still the company failed to deliver. He announced that the U.S. Post Office will get his business from now on. Another UPS customer with the name Mike Slocumb said that he plans to file “…a class action lawsuit against UPS.”
Katie Diapoulis Frewin, in a reply to a post, said that it should not matter whether you mailed the item early or not, the point is that once a customer pays for a service the company should ensure its delivery. Vince Smith complained “…like my packages, you’ve lost my business. This I learned that when it counts – UPS can’t deliver much more than excuses.”
However, not all have negative comments for the Atlanta, Georgia based package delivery company. Ray Neubauer said UPS did a great job and it’s the people to blame because they waited until the last minute to ship their packages. Ari Kissiloff, on the suggestion of not allowing some of the United Parcel Service staff to work during the holidays, said it is important that they should be with their families because these employees work all year round.
Fred Adams, on the other hand, said a big thank you should be extended to the UPS staff for taking extended deliveries and working very long days. “Too many people complain in a country where we are abundantly blessed. Let’s be thankful instead.” he added.
Historically, United Parcel Service has dominated the shipping and delivery industry in the U.S. because it has a fleet of 101,000 trucks, tractor-trailers, vans and motorcycles. Compare this figure with the Tennesse based FedEx Corp. with just about 32,000 delivery vehicles.
In an article published at Bloomberg Businessweek last October, the company mentioned that to compensate the expected volume of deliveries, UPS will add 55,000 extra workers for the holidays as well as rent 23 extra planes and reinforce their land deliveries with an additional fleet of trucks.
Despite these efforts, the company still failed some customers with regard to the on time deliveries of their Christmas packages. And thus, United Parcel Service receives mixed reactions both blame as well as praises over its delayed deliveries.
By Roberto I. Belda