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Shopping and shipping concerns ahead of holiday rush

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 25, 2021

Shopping season is here, at least if you’re Ryan Aldridge from Lockport.

“We’ve already given each other ideas and taken the kids out shopping looking for stuff.”

The dad of two said planning early is a priority especially this year after researching the likelihood of supply shortages and shipping delays.

UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service all explained how international supply chain issues will impact you at home.

“Our disciplined planning and collaboration with our largest customers allows us to maintain capacity to also reliably deliver for our small and medium-sized customers. Last year, UPS had the industry’s highest on-time delivery performance, exceeding 96% of all packages delivered on time, every week from October 1 through December 26,” said a U.P.S. spokesman.

A FedEx spokeswoman said they’re working to hire 2,600 employees across New York and New Jersey.

“FedEx continues to navigate operational challenges due to constrained labor markets, increased package volume and the ongoing pandemic. We are taking bold action in order to provide the best possible service to our customers. We’re accelerating our efforts to bolster capacity, which includes a laser-like focus on people, facilities and technology.   We strongly encourage all customers planning on shopping online for the holidays to shop early and ship early! “

The postal service said it carefully plans for peak season every year, and it’s currently hiring more than 40,000 seasonal workers to handle increased shipping needs.

“In addition to hiring, the Postal Service is preparing for the higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season by leasing millions of additional square feet of mail and package sortation facilities and installing new processing equipment to accommodate higher mail and package volumes,” a spokeswoman explained.

University at Buffalo Operations Management Professor Nallan Suresh is one of many experts who said clogged ports, a stressed trucking industry, labor shortages, higher demand and higher shipping costs will likely cause delays.

“They’re doing everything possible. They’re responding very fast and well. But looking at supply issues and conditions at the ports, I’m afraid there is going to be disruptions.”