United Parcel Service Receives Blame and Praises Over Delayed Deliveries

United Parcel Service

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


NY Daily News
The Wall Street Journal
UPS Facebook Page

16 Responses to "United Parcel Service Receives Blame and Praises Over Delayed Deliveries"

  1. sherman   December 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I think that when public expectations descend to this level, are treated as urgent news, and are defended with the vehemence that this episode engenders, then the nation to which that public belongs is pretty much done for.

  2. usatrooper77   December 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    The people at UPS and FedEx aren’t the problem, it’s the customer who suddenly feels the need for a 55″ LCD, just because it’s xmas, shipped 3-day express that takes up half the truck.

  3. John   December 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I’m a employee for UPS and I would have loved to spend chirstmas eve night with family but instead I’m driving to my local hub at 8pm to work all night so people can open gifts and as far as UPS not caring tell my time card that after I worked 65 hours a week all December!! Be thankful for what u have not what your going to get!!!

  4. Average Joe   December 27, 2013 at 8:52 am

    PROCRASTINATION!!! Christmas time comes on the same day every year, waiting mid December to shop is stupid. We have become a nation of procrastinators and because we are we put the blame on the people who just deliver our packages that’s all they do, I received a package @ 11:00 pm Christmas eve the last one on my guys truck for the night, He had his 16 year old son with him, his son handed my 10 year old (who’s present it actually was) the box with his dad and said “We are sorry to be so late but Santa said he was having sleigh problems. so he asked me and dad to come for him”, my sons eyes lit up. Now folks this is dedication, but again we procrastinate we all do this dad and son should have been home with their family not delivering our packages. We had them in for hot cocoa and gave them a $100.00 gift card for they truly deserve every dime of it. Companies like to make money they will promise you the world then when they cant preform they blame the shipping company then someone else it stops here. We as shoppers know the day is coming plan earlier, I know some work allot or its hard to get the time but you have 363 days to do this I am sure we can all find a few extra minutes in September thru October to get it all done. If you have seniors that cant get out and shop bring them to the store or better yet get their list and go for them… TURN CHRISTMAS BACK INTO WHAT IT IS TRULY ABOUT!!!!

    • Eileen   December 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

      So true! I’ve been shipping cross-country at Christmas for 35 years and have never had a late delivery by UPS. But of course, I am sensible and ship the 2nd week of December. Since no one knows which warehouses the products are picked and packaged from, and too many people wait too long to ship, it is senseless to blame UPS. So, either get off your butt and buy it at the store, or order and ship it way early. Quit feeling so entitled and selfish at Christmas.

  5. Bob   December 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

    ^^ This

  6. Joe Guy   December 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

    My Dad is a pilot for UPS. He was called out at 6pm Christmas Eve to deliver your packages….. He made a sacrifice and was not there Christmas morning so he can deliver your ipods and Egyptian cotton bed sheets. What did you sacrifice this holiday season?

    • Eileen   December 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

      God bless your father and all the truckers who move our goods!

  7. JustAGuy   December 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

    UPS is not the company at fault here. Amazon overpromised its customers at the peak delivery period for the entire year. No company that isn’t attempting to pad its numbers would tell a customer on December 22nd that they could reasonably expect to receive their package by Christmas. No delivery guarantees are in place for the few days leading to Christmas. Amazon used its customers to pad its numbers and has attempted to put the blame on UPS. Amazon is at fault, not UPS.

    • Ray   December 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Amazon’s fault? Seems there is blame enough to go around. Amazon may have committed, but they didn’t do it blindly. With UPS renting additional trucks and planes, plans and agreements were put into place months before. It seems both Amazon (and other online retailers) and UPS underestimated demand. Combined with last minute shoppers and the results are what they are…

  8. People Lack Education   December 27, 2013 at 6:37 am

    People need to understand that if a retailer offers guaranteed delivery by a certain date that does not mean that UPS or FedEx guarantees that as well. Shipping is never an issue until it is not delivered, but consumers never take the time to read the delivery time guarantees all major logistics provide around this time of the year. If a consumer believes that the USPS or a freight company can deliver daily as well as UPS or FedEx does they are very mistaken. The cost of infrastructure to work as efficient as these two companies do is almost impossible for the USPS or LTL companies. Remember DHL, they lost $1B a year and left the domestic market because of how hard it is to do what these two logistics experts do.

  9. Wudhesay   December 27, 2013 at 5:45 am

    You dropped the ball!

  10. Tom R   December 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm


  11. Robert Price Davidson   December 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    It’s time for a 3rd package delivery company in the USA. Old Dominion or Conway Freight should step up and do what Roadway Services did in the 80’s. Start a package delivery company in the East, then expand westward, and fill in the areas as business picks up. Take a lesson about what happened at RPS, and keep it to one contractor-one route. When we had the UPS strike in 97, at least people had a few options. RPS, Airborne Express, the original Fed EX, DHL, Emery was still operating; and the regional parcel companies stepped up and did what they could. Now, if we had a UPS strike, the only options would be Fed EX and the USPS. Just because DHL could not mount a ground challenge to the duopoly; they screwed up in taking over an air express company and trying to move packages on the ground using Forward Air and other companies; does not meant that another company could not mount a challenge to the duopoly.

  12. SeniorPerson   December 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Shippers are part of the problem of delayed Christmas deliveries by not making it easy for customers to opt out of getting delivery by Christmas. I get Prime membership 2 day free delivery from Amazon.com, but seldom do I need that delivery to compete with the delivery of gifts intended for Christmas yet I can’t volunteer to wait a couple of extra days and just accepting standard delivery might aid multiple days or in a few cases weeks so my less urgent deliveries compete head on with the delivery of Christmas gifts.

  13. l frattini   December 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    if this is the worst thing you have happen, you should consider yourself very fortunate.


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