UPS tells customers to expect delays after surge in online shopping

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UPS said there would be an extra one or two days added to the delivery times of some packages this week.

"This is, after all, the third consecutive year in which Cyber Monday purchases have overwhelmed the company's capacity to deliver packages for the holidays", Teamsters General President James Hoffa wrote in a letter to UPS Chief Executive Officer David Abney on Monday.

This year's successful Cyber Monday has pushed back UPS deliveries of some packages, a company spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.

But UPS is expected to deliver nearly 750 million packages over the peak season, while FedEx estimates are about half that - about 400 million.

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"We have resolved the situation that created the delays", Gaut told CNNMoney.

UPS delivers nearly double the volume of packages over peak season that FedEx does. However, it wasn't ready for the amount of orders that were made around Cyber Monday.

UPS has implemented the temporary 70-hour workweek over eight days in the past, although it is using it more broadly around its network this year, Gaut said. A record $6.59 billion was spent online overall, according to Adobe Analytics data.

The company said it expects to double the normal average daily volume of more than 19 million packages and documents for the holiday season. That figure is up more than 5% from 2016, when UPS handled 712 million packages during the holiday season.

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The seasonal challenges have been compounded by the fact the improving economy has made it more hard - and expensive - to find seasonal help. According to ShipMatrix, parcels shipped from thousands of addresses via UPS Express service between November 27 and December 2 were on time 76.3% of the time.

And as usual, the company has leased additional planes and rented more trucks to manage the high volume, and has assigned more workers to office locations that are typically swamped.

"I fail to understand how the Company neglected to take the steps necessary to ensure that it had a sufficient number of trained workers available to meet the demand generated by the digital economy". However, UPS reportedly did not first consult with local unions.

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