FedEx Is Blaming Last-Minute Shoppers for Christmas Delays The company says it was overwhelmed by an eleventh-hour burst of orders.
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine
FedEx says that holiday procrastinators are to blame for its delays in delivering Christmas packages.
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 shopping 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 weather didn't help FedEx's plight to deliver Christmas Day packages: the company faced tornadoes in the South and heavy rain in the Northeast. New Jersey'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."