An airfreight pilot told The Washington Post he and other experts expect delays to be especially problematic in the U.S. this year.
“It looks like the next three weeks are going to be challenging, particularly with serving Amazon,” Robert Kirchner, a pilot for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and executive council chairman of the labor union Teamsters Local 1224, told The Post. “Amazing is already expecting delay problems — we know this from UPS and certainly from our own flight problems — and we’re expecting that it’s going to get worse in the next two weeks leading up to Christmas.”
The problem is the pressure delivery companies are feeling after a surge in online sales, according to Business Insider. Cyber Monday sales reportedly climbed 17 percent over last year, generating an estimated $6.6 billion in online sales. Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day saw online sales of $5 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively.
UPS told the post last week that the deluge of online purchases held packages back for one- or two-day delayes. The company’s delivery drivers have reportedly been working as many as 70 hours over eight days to clear the backlog of packages.
UPS has since returned to its “peak operating plan,” a UPS spokeswoman told The Post.
“The vast majority of packages will be delivered in accordance with the service commitments for the specified time-in-transit,” she said.