Today, parcel carrier FedEx is facing negative press from two sides: customers angry that their packages weren’t delivered in time for Christmas, and those who are upset that FedEx has employees working on Christmas Day.
Bloomberg has an article today focusing on the former angle. It notes that UPS–FedEx’s main competitor–had similar problems a couple years ago, but is effectively able to have no operations today:
UPS, which refined its peak-season strategy this year, said before the holiday that it was monitoring package volumes and could ask “a small fraction” of workers to sort or make deliveries on Friday. That precaution turned out to be unnecessary, and Christmas shipments reached consumers in time, spokeswoman Peggy Gardner said by telephone Friday. UPS made deliveries late into the day Thursday, she said. “This is obviously a holiday for the company, and we want our employees to be able to enjoy it with their families,” Gardner said. “The network ran very smooth. We’re not operating today.”
I would suggest that anyone displeased by this situation do their part in the future, and order packages early–at least a few weeks in advance. I, personally, have had some packages delayed this year due to delivery service snafus. It seems that this year has been especially bad in terms of delivery problems and delays. It may be unavoidable that some packages will not arrive when desired, and everyone can save themselves some headache by shopping a little earlier. Generally, prices are about as low as they’re going to be immediately after Thanksgiving, so shopping early in December is likely the best time to get it done.
Some may be unable to order early for a variety of reasons–this is perfectly understandable. But a lot of people do wait until the last minute when they don’t have a particularly good reason to, and this negatively impacts parcel delivery services. Bad weather–which is not always predictable or possible to account for in advance–makes things worse, as it has this year.
Obviously, it’s too late for this advice to do any good in 2015, but perhaps some will keep it in mind for the 2016 holiday season.
Have a safe and happy holiday!