December 14, 2017 2:15 PM, EST

UPS Says Deliveries Are Back to Normal After Shopping Surge

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

United Parcel Service Inc. says it’s gotten deliveries under control after a surge of online shopping caused some delays following Thanksgiving.

Transit times are back to normal, the world’s largest courier said in a statement Wednesday. Steve Gaut, a spokesman for UPS, said delivery performance improved last week from the week before. He disputed a report from a prominent research firm, which said UPS’s on-time rate had worsened in the company’s vast ground network.

“We’re in a position to complete the peak season satisfying our customers,” Gaut said.

UPS is under scrutiny from investors as it processes record demand for deliveries during this year’s holiday season, a time when the daily package volume doubles. The Atlanta-based company sent special teams to hubs around the country to contend with soaring demand that created what Gaut called a “bubble” in its network after Black Friday.

The bubble has now dissipated, Gaut said. But ShipMatrix, a research firm that studies the performance of couriers, found that last week the company’s ground network delivered 91.5% of its packages on time, down from 94.4% the previous week.

“People are buying more than even the carriers expected,” said Satish Jindel, president of ShipMatrix.

FedEx Corp. completed 97.1% of its ground deliveries on time last week, improving slightly from the week before, according to ShipMatrix. UPS expects to deliver 750 million packages in the peak holiday season, compared with about 400 million for FedEx.

UPS rose less than 1 percent to close at $118.40 in New York, while FedEx climbed 1.1% to $242.02. UPS is up 3.3% this year, trailing a 30% advance for FedEx.