An expected surge in holiday e-commerce orders spurred United Parcel Service (UPS) to hire as many as 95,000 full- and part-time seasonal workers to help deliver packages on time, but a Wall Street Journal story on Thursday claimed the shipper is struggling to cope.
Citing an analysis by software developer ShipMatrix Inc., the report said that on-time delivery rates for UPS ground packages based on their normal shipping transit times last week fell to 91 percent, compared to the same period a year ago when the rate was 97 percent.
People allegedly familiar with the matter told the Journal that the company had been “slammed with unexpectedly high volumes, extra pickups and not enough staff and equipment to handle all of the packages in some locations.”
But UPS has denied that it’s having problems.
“The vast majority of UPS customers have received their shipment on time,” spokesman Steve Gaut said in an e-mail to Fortune. “UPS’ shipping network is running according to our plans and customers can expect to receive their shipments in line with the service level commitment.”
Furthermore, he said that the company has sent extra workers to help out certain high-impact delivery centers.
Gaut also shrugged off the ShipMatrix numbers highlighted by the Journal, pointing out, “There are too many ways that measurement methodologies can vary.”
With that being said, UPS does have a history of missing the mark with its projections. Last year, it overcompensated by hiring too many seasonal workers, while 2013’s misjudgment meant that many packages weren’t delivered in time for Christmas Day.