Study: How well is holiday shipping going?

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Holiday shipping

Holiday shipping volume is significantly up and a new study examines retailers’ ability to respond.

According to analysis of 2.5 billion shipping events and tens of millions of packages shipped during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend by last-mile delivery technology provider Convey Inc., retailers are on track to meet shoppers' high expectations for smooth delivery experiences this holiday season. Convey has reached this finding even with shipping volume for the first official weekend of the holiday season increasing 27% from the same period in 2018.

Increased shipping volume is in line with overall spending for the Thanksgiving weekend, when retailers saw online sales jump more than 19% on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Negative customer feedback is 28% lower for the 2019 holiday season, as 41% of Black Friday shipment feedback was negative. During the same time period in 2018, 57% of feedback was negative.  

Focusing on carrier performance, Convey found that exceptions (defined as a temporary delay in transit) are down 17% year-over-year. Convey data shows 9.5% of all packages shipped since Thanksgiving experienced an exception, which is a decrease from 11.1% in 2018. 

On-time percentage for shipments that went out on the five days of Cyber Week (Thanksgiving Day Nov. 28 – Cyber Monday Dec. 2) improved by 7% in 2019 for the top three carriers. Almost nine out of 10 packages (89.3%) arrived within their original estimated delivery date, up from 82.3% during the prior-year period.

On-time percentages for the five days of Cyber Week for the USPS & FedEx parcel carriers improved this year. Eighty-eight percent of FedEx shipments arrived within their original estimated delivery date, up from 80% during the same period in 2018. UPS fared better than FedEx with 91.6% of shipments arriving within their estimated delivery date, up from 86% a year earlier.