FedEx is predicting a record number of shipments this holiday season, including a 12% increase over last year. The shipping carrier estimates it will transport 317 million packages between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.
The company attributes the predicted growth primarily to consumers’ preference for online shopping over buying in-store. “The shift in consumer shopping patterns, fueled by the rise of e-commerce, continues to drive our volume,” said Frederick W. Smith, CEO of FedEx.
According to figures from the National Retail Federation, e-commerce sales are estimated to increase between 6 and 8% in November and December this year for a total of $105 billion. By comparison, total sales are predicted to grow by 3.7% (for a total of $630.5 billion).
FedEx says the holiday season (which includes an extra day than last year) will include three major spikes – Cyber Monday and the first two Mondays in December. On those days the company expects to ship more than twice its daily average volume. To handle the increased shipping activity during the entire season, FedEx will hire more than 55,000 seasonal workers, up from about 50,000 last year.
Consumers’ reliance on e-commerce is spurring increased activity from shipping carriers. FedEx’s average daily ground package volume has increased by 20% since 2012.