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Record year for holiday shipping

By control on December 19, 2012

Holiday shipping records continue to fall by the wayside as consumers are “mousing” their way through the season. UPS says December 20 will be its busiest day in history. FedEx set a new one-day record on December 10 with 19 million packages.

Propelling these new shipping marks is a corresponding spike in online shipping. comScore, a Reston, Va.-based analyzer of digital statistics, reports that U.S. holiday shoppers spent $33.8 billion through Dec. 14. Four individual days during the workweek of Dec. 10-14 eclipsed $1 billion in spending helping to make last week the heaviest five-day online shopping period on record, comScore says.

This week is “peak week” at UPS, which plans to deliver more than 135 million packages around the world, culminating with 28 million deliveries on Thursday. UPS projects that its drivers will deliver more than 300 packages per second that day.

The UPS Airlines is adding more than 400 flights per day this week, and some three million express shipments will be processed within 24 hours through the UPS Worldport international air hub in Louisville, Ky.

FedEx attributes record holiday volumes, which equal a 10 percent year-over-year rise, to increased e-commerce spending. FedEx expects to deliver a record 280 million packages through its global networks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

comScore says Cyber Monday (Nov. 26, 2012) currently ranks as the heaviest online spending day of the season – and in history – at $1.465 billion. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 ranks second with $1.362 billion, followed by Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 (dubbed Green Monday for all the spending that occurs) with $1.275 billion, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 with $1.263 billion and Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 (Cyber Monday 2011) with $1.251 billion.

UPS says the busy period will continue into the first days of the new year with returns. “National Returns Day,” the busiest day for returns at UPS, is Jan. 3, 2013 when UPS anticipates more than 520,000 packages shipped back to retailers in a single day.

"We've seen a 15 percent increase in retail returns over last year," said David Sisco, UPS retail marketing director. "UPS research shows that 63 percent of online shoppers review a retailer's returns policy before making a purchase."

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