As UPS (UPS) gears up for its busiest time of year by hiring about 50,000 temporary workers, the world's largest package-delivery service said it expects to ship about 7.5% more packages this holiday season than it did a year ago.
The company will ship about 430 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, UPS said in a statement Tuesday. The company's busiest day will be Dec. 22, when it predicts it will ship about 24 million packages -- about 60% more than on a typical day.
Last year, UPS shipped about 400 million packages during the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The forecast reflects what retailers hope will be an increase in holiday-season spending over 2009. U.S. consumer spending in October rose about 7% from September, according to a Gallup poll released Nov. 11. Meanwhile, U.S. gross domestic product grew 2% during the third quarter, while consumer spending increased at its fastest pace in almost four years.
With that in mind, Amazon (AMZN), the world's largest online retailer, said last week that it would hire more than 12,500 temporary workers for the holidays at its fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nevada, Arizona and Kentucky. Last month, retailer Kohls (KSS) said it would bring in about 40,000 temporary workers for the holidays. Toys R Us said in late September that it would hire about 45,000 temporary workers for the season.
UPS, which has about 400,000 full-time employees, initially announced its seasonal temporary hiring plans last month.