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November 2, 2017 3:30 PM, EDT
FedEx Holiday Season Surge Could Hit 400 Million Packages
Mark Lennihan/AP

FedEx expects to deliver 380-400 million packages this holiday season with three busy Mondays driving a record-breaking pace.

The Memphis-based company’s annual peak season forecast anticipates 26 million packages a day on those Mondays, double the usual amount, as online retailers ship out orders placed over weekends.

The surge is being driven by e-commerce, which the National Retail Federation expects to grow 8%-12% this year, more than double the increase for all retail.

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FedEx’s projection represents a 20%-26% increase over two years ago, when the 2015 peak forecast projected the company’s network would handle 317 million shipments between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. Last year FedEx projected a 10% increase but did not issue a specific volume forecast.

UPS expects to make 750 million holiday season deliveries, a 7% increase from 2016, and the U.S. Postal Service projects a double digit increase to nearly 850 million packages.

UPS ranks No. 1 and FedEx No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

“Changing market dynamics related to the growth of e-commerce are expected to once again drive the highest surges in demand on Mondays, and FedEx is expecting three Mondays during peak to more than double our average daily volume,” a company news release said.

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“With more than 400,000 dedicated team members, the strength and reach of our global network, and a significant investment in our facilities and fleet, we are well-positioned to meet this record demand and look forward to helping deliver the holidays for our customers around the world,” it said.

FedEx plans to add more than 50,000 employees to keep up with demand, including about 1,000 at the FedEx Express world hub in Memphis and 1,600 at FedEx Ground facilities in the Memphis area.

The company says it has prepared for the holiday surge by expanding FedEx Ground’s ability to handle oversized packages and growing its pickup-drop off network through an alliance with Walgreens drug stores.

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