Dec 2, 201309:37 AMTransportation Matters
with Debby Jackson
FedEx, UPS are fast becoming Santa’s biggest helpers
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How many of us have had to answer the question “how does Santa do all of that in one night?” This will be the first Christmas that my 9-year-old son, Joe, will not be pondering that mind-blowing question as he tries to fall asleep on Dec. 24. It’s undoubtedly a bit sad watching the wheels turn while your son processes this revelation.
There is something magical, however, about the sheer volume and impact that our tradition of gift giving has on people’s lives … and not only on those giving and receiving. Thousands of people will be drawing paychecks while working to ensure that St. Nicholas soon will be there. And while it may not occur all in one night, there certainly is a lot that needs to happen in a very short window of time.
This holiday season will be no different. It is all hands on deck for Santa’s little helpers. FedEx is predicting that Cyber Monday will be the busiest day in its shipping history. In fact, between UPS and FedEx, more than 50 million packages will be picked up on Cyber Monday and more than 70,000 people will be hired to handle the holiday volume. “The late Thanksgiving creates a compressed peak season that presents some operating challenges,” UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn explains. “Nonetheless, we are confident in UPS’s ability to successfully deliver the holidays.”
Employees at Amazon won’t be settling in for a long winter’s nap anytime soon either.
Speaking of Amazon, next year more than 1,000 Wisconsinites will help ensure that its customers’ stockings will be filled. Employees at the new Kenosha fulfillment center will pick, pack, and ship small items like books, electronics, and consumer goods. Kenosha was chosen, by the way, in part because of its easy access to major transportation routes.
If you think that all of this cyber activity means that none of us will be making the trek to the mall anymore, you would be wrong. According to Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development at Mall of America, “most people make three trips to the mall over the holiday season.” That average, by the way, is clearly skewed higher by my wife, who makes that many trips by midweek. (I hope that didn’t sound bitter.)