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FedEx Is Blaming Last-Minute Shoppers for Christmas Delays

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This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

 says that holiday procrastinators are to for its delays in delivering packages.

Monica Dipres

In a statement Monday that was widely reported, the shipping company blamed “an unprecedented surge of last-minute e-commerce shipments” for the delays. Operations have returned to normal after FedEx deployed thousands of employees Christmas Day and expanded its expedited delivery services to the following day, a Saturday, according to Bloomberg.

In all, FedEx said that it handled a record amount of packages this holiday season—a challenge that the company predicted in October. “The shift in consumer patterns, fueled by the rise of e-commerce, continues to drive our volume,” FedEx CEO Frederick Smith said in a press release at the time.

Erratic didn’t help FedEx’s plight to deliver Christmas Day packages: the company faced tornadoes in the South and heavy rain in the . ’s Newark International Airport experienced its wettest day of the holiday season on Dec. 23—a storm that contributed to pushing down the on-time delivery of packages throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

The United Parcel Service, meanwhile, completed all its Christmas deliveries by around 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

“A surge of last-minute e-commerce shipments, combined with severe weather in several areas of te country, did cause delays in some markets,” a FedEx spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “FedEx is extremely proud of our 340,000 team members who rose to meet the challenges of a record peak holiday season, including numerous volunteers who delivered thousands of shipments on Christmas Day.”

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