E-commerce will drive record holiday shipments this year for FedEx Corp
FedEx expects to deliver more than 260 million packages globally between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up 12 percent from a year earlier.
Apparel, consumer electronics, luxury goods, books and other items from big Internet retailers will account for a large portion of holiday volume, the company said.
FedEx said it will add about 20,000 seasonal workers to help handle the volume surge.
It expects to move more than 17 million packages on December 12, the projected busiest day in company history, more than double its average daily deliveries.
That would top last year's record 15.6 million shipments on December 13. As recently as 2005, the Memphis, Tennessee-based company's peak shipping day was below 10 million packages.
In its forecast, FedEx cited a National Retail Federation estimate that holiday sales in November and December will rise 2.8 percent from 2010 to $465.6 billion, surpassing the average increase of 2.6 percent over the last 10 years. It also noted various forecasts for rising Internet sales this year.
One beneficiary will be the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service, which partners with FedEx for FedEx SmartPost deliveries.
With SmartPost, FedEx delivers to post offices, which in turn make final delivery to residential customers.
As e-commerce continues to grow and demand increases with more customers shopping and conducting their business online, FedEx SmartPost is poised to handle the increase in shipments, FedEx Chief Executive Frederick Smith said in a statement.
(Reporting by Lynn Adler in New York; editing by John Wallace)