Shipping & Cyber Monday

Yesterday was Cyber Monday—one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Holiday shoppers flock to sites such as Amazon to get deals, but behind the scenes shipping companies like the USPS, UPS and FedEx are expected to hit record levels.

To handle the extra load, FedEx hired 20,000 seasonal workers for FedEx Ground delivery.

“Yes, there is a Santa Claus: It’s FedEx,” said FedEx senior manager Dane Worley.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is also bracing itself for a busy holiday—they projected to haul a record 420 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a 12 percent increase from last year.

However, Cyber Monday, albeit a busy day, may not be the busiest. The USPS projects that Dec. 16 will be the busiest overall shipping day as everyone scrambles to get those last minute Christmas presents out. In order to help accommodate all of the shipping, the USPS even contracted with Amazon.com to make Sunday deliveries in certain cities.

“We’re excited about this record volume,” said Richard Maher, a Postal Service spokesman in Los Angeles. “The record increase is due to online shipping, or e-commerce from such places as Amazon.com. As the Internet has taken away letter volume, it’s also increased package volume this holiday season.”

Much like FedEx and the USPS, UPS has been preparing for shipping season—they hired 55,000 seasonal workers and leased 23 extra jets to handle the holiday surge.

A lot of the increased shipping can be attributed to online retailer Amazon.com, whose growth is expected to increase 10-25 percent this quarter. “Last year, we had a record-breaking 306 items per second, with more than 26.5 million items worldwide on Cyber Monday, our peak day. We are expecting more this year,” said Amazon.com spokeswoman Katie McFadzean.