UPS Expands Delivery Force for Holidays

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United Parcel Service said yesterday that it is ready to deliver more than 300 million packages this holiday season.

Though UPS does not give exact volume numbers, a spokeswoman said that volume from Thanksgiving to Christmas last year also exceeded 300 million packages.

UPS expects volume to crest Dec. 18 at 20 million air and ground packages globally, an increase of more than 50 percent over the average daily volume. On the air side, UPS predicts the peak will be Dec. 23, with more than 4 million packages delivered worldwide, more than double the normal average.

UPS will hire about 50,000 driver helpers and package sorters to handle the volume.

The company's ground delivery fleet of 88,000 cars, vans and tractors will expand by more than 7,000 vehicles. And UPS Airlines will add nearly a dozen large jets to its year-round operating fleet of 600 aircraft to manage volume through the season, when more than 1,400 UPS flights take off daily, up from 1,100 during normal operations.

UPS said it is concerned about the Nov. 27 date for Thanksgiving, which is one day earlier than last year but still later than previous years. Business customers understand that this means less shopping time until Christmas and usually advise customers about sufficient shipping time, but customers may wait too long to order their presents.

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