A flood of mail, a historic boom in online holiday purchases andin the Northeast in years are combining to overwhelm the U.S. shipping system.
An estimated 6 million packages a day are piling up in retailers’ warehouses or shipping centers and awaiting pick up by FedEx, UPS, Amazon, the U.S. Postal Service and other shippers. Another 3.5 million packages are being picked up daily but not reaching their destinations on time, the latest shipping data show. It could soon get even worse: On-time delivery rates for the USPS have dropped to just over 86% in the third week of December, down from 93% three weeks ago.
That’s according to estimates from ShipMatrix, a software company that helps retailers and others track shipments and that collects data on millions of packages sent from more than 100,000 locations in the U.S.