Atlanta-based United Parcel Service says it has sent 300 managers to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to address considerable delivery delays following an ice storm that two weeks ago paralyzed the area.
Coordinating the most time-sensitive shipments during the most hectic time of year has always been a challenge for UPS, but the Internet has made Abell’s job more crucial than ever. It’s become so easy for people to shop via computers and smartphones that they frequently delay their purchases until the last minute. Mr. Peak’s job, in effect, is to fulfill the Internet’s promise of instant gratification.
If Abell can’t come up with a viable scheme, UPS is in trouble. The company expects to ship more than 132 million parcels globally during the week before Christmas alone. If it can’t find space for them all, retailers will almost surely turn to FedEx. In addition, Abell must keep a lid on costs. In the past some investors have worried that UPS is too e-commerce focused. David Vernon, an analyst for AllianceBernstein, notes that it’s usually more profitable to carry large shipments to businesses than to transport books to the cozy homes of Internet shoppers. But he says UPS is managing to turn a profit on the latter with careful planning. “I think some of those fears are starting to recede,” he says.
The 911 call placed by a United Parcel Service driver after he said an elderly man pulled a gun on him was released by authorities on Wednesday.
“I’m a UPS driver, and I’m here making a delivery,” the driver said. “He was cussing at me. He pulled up and pulled his gun out and pointed it right at me and my helper.”
Within UPS, Scott Abell is known as Mr. Peak. He spends the entire year obsessing about Peak Season, the busiest time at the world’s largest shipping company. This Peak Season, UPS will deliver an estimated 300 packages per second. So how does it all work? Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at how the company prepares for the holiday season
If the United Parcel Service Inc. forecast is correct, Tuesday should be the busiest day of the year for Jill Schubert and the 15,205 UPS employees she supervises from its regional headquarters in South Philadelphia.
Shipping volume is already up from 2012 and Tuesday is peak day with 29 million packages expected to be delivered globally, up from 27.5 million last year.
“It’s controlled madness or controlled chaos,” said Schubert, 51, president of operations. “But the key is that it’s controlled.”