It is not often that people worry about whether their packages will arrive on time, especially when they have ordered items to ensure that they arrive before Christmas. However, a massive increase in online holiday sales plus heavier-than-normal holiday shipping volumes combined with some bad weather created a "perfect storm" of problems for UPS and FedEx, causing them to miss promised pre-Christmas delivery dates.
Both UPS and FedEx were unable to deliver packages in time for Christmas, even if a customer had ordered faster shipping so items would arrive in time for the biggest gift giving day of the year.
Although UPS and FedEx may be unable to make up for failing to deliver packages prior to Christmas, both carriers are now using every means necessary to get packages to customers before the end of the week. UPS has received the majority of the complaints but both it and Fedex are bringing in more drivers and in some cases, renting U-Haul trucks to get the packages delivered as soon as possible.
The delivery issues affected customers in numerous areas of the country, with people in Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia all speaking out.
In an attempt to minimize the apparent size of the problem, UPS and FedEx have chosen not to say how many packages were delayed but they have tried to assure the media that only a small percentage of holiday gifts did not make it to their destinations in time for Christmas.
Apologies All Around
Instead of handing over gifts for the holiday, some people have simply had to apologize to friends and family for not being able to give their gifts in time as a result of the shipping delays. Some consumers who have talked to the media have confirmed that their packages did not arrive even when they had selected expedited shipping to ensure their packages arrived in time.
Apologies are also coming from UPS, which has been on the front lines this week for its inability to deliver the packages on time to far more consumers than FedEx. "We apologize that our customers did not receive their packages on Christmas," said Natalie Godwin, a UPS spokesperson.
Drivers have called this the worst Christmas ever, not only because of the overloaded systems but because orders also timed up with large winter storms across the country.
"UPS understands the importance of your holiday shipments. UPS is experiencing heavy holiday volume and making every effort to get packages to their destination." said UPS's statement from Christmas day. Now, both UPS and FedEx are scrambling to make things right and salvage their reputations with quite a few angry customers.