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FedEx forecast calls for holiday package shipments to increase 10%

100 million more holiday deliveries than 2019 pre-pandemic peak season

FedEx is expecting package deliveries to increase 10% year-over-year during the holiday shipping season, a spokesperson told FreightWaves on Friday.

The expected increase would easily surpass last year’s peak season record. But this year FedEx (NYSE: FDX) won’t have to contend with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which were rushed to frontline workers in the early days of December 2020.

Even with numerous supply chain snarls keeping freight stuck at ports and shipper warehouses longer, deliveries are expected to surge higher again during the 2021 holiday period.

It appears the buy-from-home trend necessitated during last year’s lockdowns is here to stay. An internal FedEx email obtained by Bloomberg on Thursday said the parcel carrier will move 100 million more packages this holiday season than it did in the same period of 2019.

“Pre-COVID, FedEx projected that the U.S. domestic market would reach 100 million packages per day by calendar year 2026,” a statement to FreightWaves read. “The market is now expected to hit that by calendar year 2022, with e-commerce contributing to 88% of the total market growth.”

Cyber Monday, the Tuesday that follows and the first two Mondays in December are expected to be the highest volume days for the company.

The report is in line with recent commentary from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The group expects holiday sales during November and December to increase 8.5% to 10.5% year-over-year. A survey it recently conducted showed 46% of consumers polled got a jump on holiday spending earlier than normal, completing 28% of their total planned spending by early November.

“Consumers are starting earlier than ever to be sure they can get what they want, when they want it, at a price they want to pay,” Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, stated.

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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes FedEx (No. 1).

Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.