Fed Ex bracing for rush hour
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:02 am
NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx expects to ship 280 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up 13 percent from a year ago, thanks to consumers’ growing fondness for shopping online.
FedEx moves a bulk of its cheaper, lighter weight shipments from online and catalog retailers through its SmartPost service, a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service.
The forecast comes against a background of lackluster growth in the global economy. The Memphis company expects Dec. 10 to be its busiest day with 19 million shipments, up 10 percent from 2011. FedEx Corp. said holiday shipments will be driven by sales of personal electronics, apparel, luxury goods and items from large internet retailers.
The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase 4.1 percent. That would be the smallest increase since 2009 when sales were up just 0.3 percent.
FedEx and UPS Inc. can get double the benefit when consumers choose to shop online: They ship the gift to the receiver, and they also ship the unwanted presents that are later returned.
FedEx plans to hire 20,000 seasonal workers to help handle the surge — the same as last year.