With Black Friday just around the corner, UPS has been prepping for their peak season by further enhancing their technology, hiring seasonal workers, and touching up contracts with major online retailers. Every year UPS invests over $1 billion annually into technology that enables them to be more productive and efficient, while also enhancing the customer experience beyond what we have experienced in the past. For example, customers can track the delivery time, date, and location via text and email alerts. UPS is also known for their use of DIADs (delivery information acquisition devices), which provide drivers with suggestions to deliver packages on time, such as reducing the number of left turns made in delivery, which was discussed in our motor carrier lecture. With the assistance of such devices, UPS has been able to guarantee some customers an unprecedented four hour window for when their package will be delivered to their doorstep. Other new techonolgy allows the internal computer system to question the driver if it appears that a package has been delivered to an incorrect address based on longitudes and latitudes.
UPS and FedEx are both expecting significant increases in parcel service this holiday season. UPS puts package delivery estimates at an all time high of 527 million this year, almost a 10% increase from last year. In order to accommodate this record breaking workload, UPS plans to higher over 55,000 seasonal employees. FedEx, being a smaller company, will plan to higher 22,000 employees to accommodate their 13% increase in business.
In addition to increases in manpower and efficiency, customers also have new tools at their disposal to enhance their customer service. Over two million customers have signed up for UPS My Choice, a system designed to reduce missed packages. The My Choice sends reminders to the customers when their packages will show up. If the customer is unable to receive the package, they can opt to have it delivered at another date or even location so that they won’t miss it. UPS also plans to utilize social media with the hashtag #HassleFreeHolidays for it’s customers on twiiters to win prizes. FedEx brings it’s SmartPost system to the table to help service its customers. SmartPost delivers packages to local USPS locations which are then able to distribute the packages to the customers.