Online orders are expected to surge this week, with Christmas just seven days away and many retailers still pushing e-commerce deals. And some companies, including Amazon and Walmart, are extending shipping deadlines, giving procrastinators a way to buy online this week and still have items arrive before Dec. 25.
With more digital orders funneling through the system this holiday season compared with last, it appears UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service are more prepared than ever to handle a spike in activity. That should come as good news for shoppers and retailers.
For the first three weeks of the holiday season, FedEx's on-time delivery performance was at 95.1 percent, UPS was at 97.6 percent and the USPS 97.8 percent, according to data from logistics solutions provider ShipMatrix, which looks at millions of parcels shipped from over 90,000 locations across the U.S.
ShipMatrix President Satish Jindel said these are the highest rates he's seen in years. And he expects it will maintain this pace over the remainder of the month, or maybe even go higher, as some 95 million packages are expected to go out daily to consumers this week, compared with 45 million during a "nonpeak" time of year.
"The carriers are handling that increase without much impact week after week," Jindel told CNBC, adding he expects FedEx's on-time performance rate to rise about 2 points this week to be more in line with rivals. "Thursday and Friday especially are going to be busy days for them."