For UPS, Only One Thing Can Stop A Record Holiday Season… - Wall Street Journal
The concern, it turns out, isn’t consumer sentiment or competition from FedEx or government shutdowns or the economy. It’s Mother Nature. Thanksgiving is so late this year it has trimmed the shopping season by six days and one weekend. That’s made UPS more vulnerable than usual to the weather.
“Having Thanksgiving this late takes the whole shopping period and compresses it,” says UPS chief financial officer, Kurt Kuehn. That means more last minute shopping , more shipments and “an opportunity – we’ll fully utilize our equipment,” he says, “But it creates some risks. . .like if a big storm hit Louisville.” That’s because Louisville is home to UPS’s Worldport, which it says is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world. It currently turns over 130 aircraft and processes 1.6 million packages, on average, daily. Last year, it processed a record 4.2 million packages on its busiest day.