UPS delivery truck

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, UPS is temporarily limiting pickups from large retailers such as Nike, Gap, L.L. Bean, Hot Topic, Newegg, and Macy’s in an effort to manage its logistics resources.

The Journal said it viewed an internal message directing drivers not to accept further packages from these retailers and that there are “No exceptions” to this policy. Some drivers told the WSJ that this kind of metering of packages had not been used in previous holiday seasons.

The WSJ reached out to UPS for comment and a UPS spokesperson said the company would pick up packages again from shippers whose demand exceeded allocated space, once additional capacity became available.

It is not unusual for UPS and FedEx to work with large retailers on allocation plans for the holiday season to better manage available logistics resources, but it seems these plans did not anticipate the volume being seen right now.

The article did quote some retailers and the UPS spokesperson that all parties believe this will work itself out, but to be on the safe side, some retailers are encouraging earlier ordering.

This is not the first report of potential challenges for shipping carriers this year. Just last week, a report from Bloomberg said there is a shortage of delivery vans at commercial leasing companies which typically supply shipping carriers with excessive pickup and delivery resources.

As more reports of record online sales during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend roll in, it is becoming obvious that the expectations of consumers staying home due to COVID safety and health concerns are coming true.

Online retailer are happy, but they need shipping carriers to meet delivery expectations to ensure the shift by consumers to online ordering for holiday gifts continues to grow in 2021.

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