February 1, 2011, 2:53 PM

Online retailers spike UPS package volume

Backed by strong demand from e-retailers, UPS grows holiday package delivery volume.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

UPS cited extensive shipping by online retailers for a robust global holiday shipping season in the fourth quarter. “UPS delivered more than 440 million packages during the holiday shipping season, powered by strong demand from online retailers,” the company said today.

UPS noted that its global holiday shipping volume exceeded 24 million packages per day on five days, including one day that exceeded 25 million. By comparison, a year ago it noted that its holiday 2009 season peaked with 22 million packages per day on eight days, with a single-day peak of more than 24 million packages.

For the fourth quarter:

● UPS delivered 1.1 billion packages worldwide, up 3.9% from a year ago.  Average daily package volume reached 17.7 million packages, up 2.3% from the same quarter a year ago.

● U.S. average daily domestic package volume increased 2.3% year over year to 15.12 million;

International average daily package volume increased 5.0% to 2.54 million packages;

● Global revenue increased 8.4% year over year to $13.42 billion from $12.38 billion, as operating profit grew 43.7% to $1.81 billion from $1.26 billion;

● Revenue from U.S. package delivery rose 7.0% to $8.08 billion from $7.55 billion, as revenue per piece rose 3.5% primarily through increases in base pricing and fuel surcharges;

● Operating profit from U.S. package delivery rose 36.1% to $1.04 billion from $764 million;

● Revenue from international package delivery rose 9.3% year over year to $3.05 billion from $2.79 billion, as operating profit grew 15.0% to $537 million from $467 million.

For the full year 2010:

● UPS delivered 3.9 billion packages worldwide, up 2.6% from a year earlier, with an average daily volume of 15.6 million, up 3.3% from a year ago;

● International package volume increased 13.6% year over year to a record daily average of 2.3 million packages; airlift to Asia alone rose 40%. The company didn’t report full-year U.S. domestic package volume;

● Total revenue rose 9.4% year over year to $49.5 billion, as operating profit rose 55% to $5.9 billion;

● Revenue from supply chain and freight services rose 12.8% year over year to $2.29 billion from $2.03 billion, as operating profit rose more than 8-fold to $234 million from $28 million. UPS attributed the improved performance partly to an increase in gross weight hauled.

UPS says it expects continued strong performance this year. “I’m encouraged by the opportunities we see in 2011 as UPS continues to expand into emerging markets while demonstrating the power of the logistics capabilities we’ve built worldwide,” says Scott Davis, chairman and CEO. 



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