FedEx expects Monday to be the busiest day in its history. The package giant forecasts 17 million shipments will move through its global network on Dec. 12 alone, double its average daily volume.
To handle the surge, FedEx hired 20,000 seasonal workers at FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost and is offering additional shifts to employees and contractors across the U.S.
The FedEx Express main air hub in Memphis, Tenn., alone will handle up to 3 million packages next Monday, said John Dunavant, vice president at the Memphis hub. “As busy as we are in Memphis, FedEx hubs and stations around the world are feeling the holiday surge as well,” Dunavant said.
FedEx handled 15.6 million shipments last year on Dec. 13, its busiest day. This year’s forecast is a 42 percent increase over Dec. 15, 2008’s 12 million shipments.
Five years ago, FedEx handled 10.6 million shipments Dec. 18, 2006. The 61 percent increase over the past five years underscores the growth of online sales and catalog shipping via the Internet.
This year saw two “Cyber Mondays,” the online answer to the “Black Friday” retail buying binge the day after Thanksgiving, as some retailers extended online discounts for a second week.
Rival package giant UPS expects shipping volume in the week before Christmas to rise 6.2 percent this year and said last month it would deliver 120 million packages in its “peak week.”
Package volume in the UPS network will exceed 25 million shipments on five out of the last 10 days before Christmas, the company said.