United Parcel Service says that holiday shipping will rise 10%. (Thomas S. England / Bloomberg…)
Shopping giant United Parcel Service Inc. said holiday shipping will jump 10% as consumers increasingly turn online to buy gifts for the season.
The Atlanta company estimates that it will handle 527 million packages in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. On its busiest day, Dec. 20, the shipping firm forecasts delivering 28 million packages, or nearly twice the amount handled on a normal day.
That's a spot of good news for a company considered to be a bellwether of the global economy because it handles so many business transactions.
The growth is largely attributed to a rise in online shopping, which will account for about 10% of all holiday spending this year, research firm eMarketer said. Sales in the category will rise nearly 17% compared with last year. UPS will hire 55,000 seasonal workers to handle the spike in business.
Chief rival FedEx said this week that it will hire 20,000 seasonal employees to work on holiday shipping that is expected to jump 13% from last year, bolstered by online shoppers opting to skip the malls and buy gifts from home. It expects to ship some 280 million packages during the season.
Retail sales this holiday are expected to rise 4.1% compared with last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Hot toys for the holidays
Target, Neiman Marcus unveil holiday collection with top designers
Popular Halloween costumes: Witches, superheroes, athletes, oh my!
Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi