FedEx has come forward, stating that it was unable to deliver many packages in time for Christmas because of a heavy spike in last minute e-commerce shipments. The company had warned customers last week that inclement weather would cause some packages to be delivered late. Meanwhile, the company’s archrival UPS was able to complete all of the deliveries it had promised before December 25.
In a statement, FedEx stated that there was “an unprecedented surge of last-minute e-commerce shipments”. The company has not yet provided any details regarding why its shipping network was unable to process the last minute surge of orders. This season, many online shoppers chose to wait until mid-December to make their holiday purchases. While this provided a strong boost to retailers, it caused much stress for delivery companies.
Logistics analyst of Intelligent Audit David Huckeba stated, “My take on it is UPS was much better prepared to handle it than FedEx was. I just don’t think they were ready or able to handle the volumes they got.”
A major problem for FedEx this holiday season was poor weather. Heavy rains at the company’s major shipping hub in Newark, NJ definitely put a damper on their effort to deliver packages in time for Christmas. Additionally, the company also had to deal with a series of storms in the south. FedEx even had some employees work on Christmas Day to try to get packages out at the last minute.
In particular, many customers complained about the execution of FedEx’s low-cost delivery service called SmartPost.This service functions by having FedEx transport the packages for the majority of the trip and then having the United States Postal Service conduct the final drop-off at the receiver’s address. It has been reported that many of the SmartPost packages sat idle for extended periods of time, causing them to arrive late. However, company representatives have noted that SmartPost does not have the same service guarantees of more expensive shipping services.
While FedEx may have stumbled this holiday season, it appears that the company is now moving forward and getting back on track with its standard operations. One would expect that in a few months everyone will forget that FedEx was a little late in delivering some packages.