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UPS Turns Parking Lots Into Sorting Centers to Add Speed – Bloomberg

Outside a brick-and-mortar sorting facility in suburban Atlanta, UPS has built its own Christmas village.

It’s functional, if not festive: the company welded together aluminum segments and placed them atop a poured concrete floor to create a makeshift package-sorting facility in an employee parking lot. Inside, conveyor belts whisk packages toward the gaping delivery bays and the awaiting brown Pullman trucks.

These “mobile distribution center villages” deployed around the U.S. are designed to help avert a repeat of last year’s Christmas delays that saw thousands of gifts delivered a day or more late. United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is in crunch time. It expects six days this month to surpass its single-busiest shipping day of last year. Things should peak today with an estimated 34 million items dropped off at homes and businesses.

Holiday frenzy: UPS delivery a demanding job for reporter trying it out

For days before it began, I dreamed uneasily of a host of things that could go wrong in my new career as a UPS delivery man: dropping a package and breaking something, getting crushed under a toppling stack of big-screen TVs in the back of the truck, being mobbed by women overcome at the sight of that legendarily sexy brown uniform.

Yet my first big screw-up was something that never occurred to me: Handing a customer the electronic tablet to sign for his delivery, I somehow got it backward, so he was looking at it upside down. Then I fumbled it as I tried to turn it right side up, nearly dropping the (no doubt delicate as well as insanely expensive) device to the concrete floor of a loading dock.

FedEx, UPS confront busiest holiday season on record – Times-Standard

The next week will be a 24/7, backbreaking, sleep-deprived haul for couriers such as FedEx, the United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service, the last connections to deliver many much-anticipated Christmas gifts. And there is no room for mistakes.

Last year’s fiasco — when retailers over-promised on deliveries and bad weather snarled courier services, causing millions of gifts to arrive long after Santa’s visit — is still a painful memory, and everyone is working hard to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

UPS Transforms Logistics Into Humanity With One Great Idea – Forbes

UPS recently launched a “Wishes Delivered” campaign that includes a wonderful film about a little boy and his favorite driver, Mr. Ernie. The film is a great story, fun to watch, and truly heart warming. However, its marketing power is far greater than any of that.

One of the powers of this little film – and the entire Wishes Delivered campaign – is that it changes the way we perceive that big brown box on wheels. It was a truck, a brown truck no less, that had packages inside probably for businesses. Nothing special.

But this idea inspires the viewer to think again. It reframes that ordinary truck into something approximating Santa’s sleigh. And it does so with humility, heart, and not a shred of chest-pounding.