In news that will surprise absolutely no one, the major package carriers, UPS and FedEx, expect to handle record numbers of packages this holiday seasons. As Americans shift more of our holiday shopping — and more of our shopping in general — online, that makes this Monday particularly important for retailers. [More]
More than a century ago, the Sears Roebuck catalog arrived in the mailboxes of rural Americans and changed their lives. It didn’t just make fine toilet paper: shoppers could order everything from clothing to guns to entire houses and have it delivered to their homes. Now online shopping has opened the world up even more to rural people, letting them buy food cheaper than local supermarkets and clothing that the Walmart a half-hour drive away doesn’t carry. [More]
When you see a UPS or FedEx truck in your neighborhood on a weekday, or a U.S. Postal Service truck on a Sunday, they’re probably there with some kind of delivery from an online retailer, and that retailer is likely to be Amazon. As more of our everyday shopping happens online, someone will need to bring those items to our doorsteps, but it may not necessarily be the carriers we’re used to. [More]
It’s not that UPS is ungrateful that all of us are shopping online so much and having items shipped to our homes. The problem is that making multiple stops in residential areas, dropping off only one package each time, is a lot less efficient than the business-to-business shipping that UPS was used to before Amazon Prime happened. That’s why the company is expanding its network of lockers, which allow 24-hour access to your packages without a delivery truck actually coming to your house. [More]
While there are no doubt innumerable studies, surveys, and reports on the habits of modern shoppers, at least one survey says that consumers are buying stuff online more than they are in stores, for the first time ever. [More]
No more wondering what your package gets up to while it’s out for delivery — did it stop for a drink and miss its connecting flight? — with a new service UPS is rolling out that allows customers to track their shipments in the final stage, from one second to the next. [More]
How do you make sure that packages shipped using three-day delivery service make it to their destinations on time during the week before Christmas? Retailers probably didn’t like the solution that UPS used this year, but it worked to prevent a last-minute rush of packages. They simply added a day to the shipping time during the runup to Christmas.
With just days remaining before Christmas, you might be
impatiently waiting for a few last deliveries to show up at your door. While those deliveries might be a sight for sore eyes, there’s another – of the scammy kind – that you should be on the look out for. [More]
The busiest shipping and mailing day of the year is upon us, with the U.S. Postal Service expecting to process more than 600 million cards, letters, postcards, periodicals, catalogs, and packages today alone. Gift givers who have already sent off their goodies shouldn’t encounter too many issues with their packages making it on time, but for the rest of us procrastinators, we might want to head to the post office, UPS or FedEx store sooner rather than later. [More]
Though we’re all used to seeing UPS delivery drivers cruising around the neighborhood in their signature brown vehicles, if your package comes off the back of a U-Haul truck, it’s not a cause for panic.
Every year, Santa Claus makes a master list of which children have been naughty or nice in the preceding year, and rewards them accordingly. Our sibling publication, Consumer Reports, makes its own list of judgement, deciding whether companies, not individuals, have behaved themselves in the past year. The list isn’t an overall evaluation of the company’s products or practices, but a way to call out out specific examples of admirable or deplorable behavior from the last year. [More]
FedEx predicted that they’ll process 317 million packages this holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and now UPS has made their own prediction public: they anticipate processing at least 630 million packages this year, an increase of 10% over last year. There are two problems with that figure: UPS has been really bad at predicting package volume the last two years, and more of those items are being shipped to residential addresses. [More]
We’ve all been there: you’re waiting for a package, you check the tracking, and it says they tried to deliver. Except you’ve been paying attention the whole time, and no knock has ever come. When it’s just one resident, that really stinks. When it’s a whole bunch of packages being delivered on government contracts, though, it’s lawsuit time. [More]
Shipping that new bike to your niece this holiday season will cost more than it did last year if you’re using UPS: the company announced that it’s upping the fees it charges customers to ship large, oversized packages as well as raising fuel surcharges on those items.