UPS is gearing up for what it expects to be one of its strongest ever holiday peak shipping seasons, and is rolling out enhanced residential service to help consumers manage the delivery of goods more closely.
The parcel giant expects to handle 58 million tracking requests on its busiest day during this year’s holiday season despite a shaky economy and high unemployment.
“It’s likely this peak season will be bigger” than last year, chief marketing officer Alan Gershenhorn said Wednesday.
That's partly because of the growing popularity of Internet sales, which trigger more deliveries of products to homes. UPS is responding to the growth in that business by changing some of the services behind home delivery, including its new UPS My Choice starting Oct. 3 to allow residential customers to have more control over the timing and location of their deliveries.
Offered in two tiers, the service will give customers a 24 hours advance notice on the delivery time and location of a package via a phone call, text message or e-mail. Customers also can authorize release via electronic signature. The alerts and release option will be free of charge.
Customers who cannot be present at the destination to accept delivery will be able to change the delivery time or location for a $5 fee. This includes the option to pick up the package at the closest UPS package center.
UPS also is offering a $40 premium membership service, which includes an online customer delivery planner.