Express carrier FedEx Corp. is bracing to move upwards of 317 million shipments between Black Friday, Nov. 27, and Christmas Eve, a 12.4 percent year-over-year increase in seasonal volumes, the company said in a statement.
FedEx attributed the boost in volumes to the addition of one more day for shopping compared to the same period last year, as well as expected increases for “Cyber Monday” and the first two Mondays in December. During this time, FedEx expects to more than double its average daily volume.
“The shift in consumer shopping patterns, fueled by the rise of e-commerce, continues to drive our volume,” said FedEx Chief Executive Officer Frederick W. Smith, in a statement.
Overall, the National Retail Federation forecasts sales in November and December to grow 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion. NRF also anticipates that e-commerce sales will continue to grow at a faster rate than in-store sales, rising 6-8 percent to as much as $105 billion.
To ready itself for the peak season, FedEx said it has invested $1.6 billion in FedEx Ground this fiscal year, most of which is for capacity and automation, including more than 160 expansion projects. FedEx Ground has invested about $2.5 billion for growth and network expansion in the last five years, the company said.
Among other things, FedEx Express has been modernizing its ground fleet
by adding more than 7,000 new vehicles in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, and continues to enhance its hub network automation with investments in package sorting systems.
In addition, the company said its FedEx Ground operation will run seven-day-a-week sort operations during the peak season and hire more than 55,000 seasonal positions to its delivery network to handle the holiday crunch.
Last week, UPS also urged its customers to “plan ahead” for the holiday shopping peak between Nov. 27 and Dec. 24, and released a detailed schedule of its services during this period