Retail

Holiday season package returns to hit a record high, UPS says

Key Points
  • United Parcel Service expects returned packages to hit a record high following this year's holiday shipping season, as consumers shopped more online.
  • E-commerce sales rose 18.8% year-on-year and comprised 14.6% of total retail sales.
  • UPS said it expects to process 1.9 million returns on Jan. 2.
An employee sorts packages at the United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Chicago Area Consolidation Hub in Hodgkins, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty Images

United Parcel Service expects returned packages to hit a record high following this year's holiday shipping season, as consumers shopped more online, the package delivery company said on Thursday.

UPS said it expects to process 1.9 million returns on Jan. 2, up 26% from a year earlier and a seventh-consecutive annual record.

"This process is a change from years past, when consumers would rush to physical retailers the day after Christmas and stand in long lines to make returns," UPS said in a statement.

U.S. shoppers spent more online during this year's holiday shopping season, a report by Mastercard Inc showed on Wednesday, as e-commerce sales hit a record high.

E-commerce sales rose 18.8% year-on-year and comprised 14.6% of total retail sales, according to Mastercard's data tracking retail sales from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve.