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More retailers promise last-minute Christmas delivery

Sam Harnett Dec 15, 2014
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More retailers promise last-minute Christmas delivery

Sam Harnett Dec 15, 2014
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Today is expected to be the busiest shipping day in the country. But, that does not mean the next week and a half until Christmas will slow down shipping-wise. Companies will be shipping out packages down to the wire.

Last year, the media reported a big backlash over late packages. There were storms, deliveries got backed up and some presents spent Christmas sitting in cold, lonely warehouses.

“Coming out of last year, we estimated that people would be a little more cautious this year,” says Steve Osburn, a supply chain adviser with the management consulting firm Kurt Salmon. 

But that’s not happening, he says.

This year, even more big retailers are promising last-minute delivery. Companies are thinking “if my competitor is going to be able to do it, I need to be able to do it,” according to Osburn.

To handle the surge of holiday packages, shippers like FedEx and UPS have hired tens of thousands of additional workers. 

Lisa Willis runs Missive, a custom letterpress company in San Francisco. She says customers have come to expect instantaneous delivery, and she wishes that weren’t the case. “As a small business we’re up against all these really large companies that guarantee delivery dates,” she says.

To try to compete, Willis gives her customers a price break if they order early.

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