Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



UPS's Record-Smashing Day

Image source: UPS.

In just one day this year -- Monday, Dec. 16, to be exact -- UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) expects to move a record 34 million packages through its system.

That works out to about 1.5 million deliveries per hour, or an incredible 23,611 packages each minute.

A few factors are working together to push UPS's business into that record territory.

For one, the holiday shopping season will be over in a relative flash this year. With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than in 2012, this will be the shortest shopping season we've had in more than a decade.

That time crunch puts extra pressure on each of the 26 days that do fit into this year's season, especially as total holiday shopping is expected to rise by 4%. Altogether, UPS will probably endure five individual shopping days this year that each surpass last year's peak volume day of 28 million deliveries.

On top of having less time on its hands, UPS will also have to grapple with more overall shipments. Spiking e-commerce sales are set to boost demand for package deliveries. (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , for example, saw its product sales jump by 33% in North America this past quarter, and it expects to log overall revenue growth of as much as 25%, to $26.5 billion over the holidays. The online retail giant may be pushing media content sales through its tablets and e-readers, but its biggest business by far is still selling traditional, non-digital stuff.

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY  ) sounded a more cautious tone on its holiday forecast this week, saying that it has noticed a dip in online sales lately. However, the company has a strong foothold in mobile, which is the fastest-growing shopping category. eBay still expects holiday-quarter revenue to rise by between 13% and 15% over last year's tally.

Either way, there won't be a shortage of hot products that people will want delivered quickly this season. Next-generation video-game consoles, in particular, could see strong sales after the nearly eight-year break in between upgrades.

So will UPS crack under the pressure of that record volume? There's no denying that the company has a huge operating challenge ahead. But UPS is trying to get ahead of the crush. It plans to quickly hire 55,000 seasonal employees, including drivers, package sorters, and loaders, to help process all of those holiday shipments.

Once the new workers are in place, things should move smoothly for UPS. And the good news is that this year's banner numbers for online shopping should help UPS improve overall earnings by a strong 5% over last year.

Stocks that deliver long-term returns
The best investing approach is to choose great companies like UPS and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "
3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 27, 2013, at 5:03 PM, loulou59 wrote:

    Just amazing! A company that is making record profits, and is seeing even bigger profits in the future, is screwing its employees over their new contract! Hmmmm....what will they do if we're on strike this Christmas shopping season....

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2700134, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2016 1:13:30 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,323.73 180.28 0.99%
S&P 500 2,170.01 18.88 0.88%
NASD 5,315.56 46.41 0.88%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 12:57 PM
UPS $109.29 Up +1.08 +1.00%
United Parcel Serv… CAPS Rating: *****
AMZN $838.66 Up +9.61 +1.16% CAPS Rating: ****
EBAY $32.94 Up +0.64 +1.98%
eBay CAPS Rating: ****