Is Your ‘On-Time’ Holiday Package Delivery In Trouble?

UPS and FedEx on-time delivery rates are down this holiday season. Is your package doomed to arrive late?

Is Your ‘On-Time’ Holiday Package Delivery In Trouble? Photo (cc) by Jamiecat *

UPS is again using U-Haul trucks to handle extra package deliveries this holiday season, but that might not be enough.

Earlier this month, UPS’s on-time delivery rates plunged, with the on-time rate for ground packages falling to just 91 percent, software developer ShipMatrix tells CBS MoneyWatch. At the same time last year, UPS’s on-time delivery rates were around 97 percent.

Competitor FedEx’s on-time delivery rates are also down, falling to 95 percent earlier this month.

ShipMatrix research analyst Mark D’Amico tells CBS, however, that it might be too early to tell whether problems will continue, or whether they will be corrected in time.

UPS spokesperson Steve Gaut tells Fortune that the “vast majority” of customers have received their shipments on time. He added:

“UPS’s shipping network is running according to our plans and customers can expect to receive their shipments in line with the service level commitment.”

Gaut also said UPS has hired 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers to help and is trying to get retailers to nudge shoppers to place orders earlier.

Consumer Reports is warning of another shipping-related problem, however — package theft:

Law-enforcement agencies from Jacksonville, Florida, to Princeton, Colorado, are alerting people about package theft by Scrooge-y crooks who could make the holidays a little less merry by snatching holiday gifts from their doorsteps. This comes in a year when package-delivery companies are forecasting record deliveries.

Keeping would-be crooks away from your packages can be as simple as a few clicks, though.

Consumer Reports notes that the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx offer alternatives that allow for customers to pick up held packages from the carrier or another alternate location.

Some of these carriers also offer options that allow customers to authorize a package to be left at a side or back door, for example, or to schedule or delay delivery.

If you’re expecting a package, visit the carrier’s website to learn what delivery options are available.

Have you had any delivery troubles this holiday season? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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