Boosted by the e-commerce boom, FedEx says it will deliver 100 million more packages this holiday season than it did from Black Friday to Christmas in pre-pandemic 2019. FedEx also predicts a 10% increase in deliveries compared to the record 2020 holiday season..

Fueling the package-shipping spike is changing consumer behavior, as shoppers sought goods and bargains earlier this year instead of starting on Black Friday, according to analysts.

“We’ve seen a lot of people actually starting their Christmas shopping in the month of October,” Ryan Kelly, vice president of global e-commerce at FedEx, told CNBC. “What you see is a lot of messaging about shop and ship early, pulling sales forward, pulling promotions forward.”

In October, FedEx delivered approximately 96% of packages on time compared with 99% for UPS and 99% for the U.S. Postal Service, according to data from ShipMatrix.

On-time delivery above 95% is considered a sign of an efficient network.

Retail analysts say about 70% of e-commerce is being delivered to homes.

According to ShipMatrix, overall e-commerce will increase 13% from the record 2020 holiday season to 3.4 billion packages shipped. But the daily number of delayed e-commerce shipments or packages exceeding the available capacity on all shipping networks will fall 82% from 7.3 million packages in 2020 to 1.3 million packages this year.

“This season, the carriers have added capacity. That helps them manage costs, that helps them manage margins,” ShipMatrix CEO Satish Jindel told CNBC.

This year's Black Friday in-store shopping increased by nearly 48% compared to 2020, according to Sensormatic Solutions.

The Omicron variant has the potential to reverse this year’s upward trend and encourage more shoppers to revert back to online shopping.

“We expect BOPIS [buy online, pick up in store] to grow in popularity through the remainder of the holiday shopping season and beyond, as consumers value convenience,” said Coresight Research Founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig in a recent report by CNBC.