Print 15 comment(s) - last by Camikazi.. on Dec 30 at 2:58 PM

Amazon said it will review the performance of delivery carriers

Amazon had a record holiday season this year, so much so that it had to limit new Prime memberships and give gift cards to those who didn't receive packages before Christmas.

According to a new report from CNBC, Amazon set a record on Cyber Monday with 36.8 million items ordered globally, which is about 426 items per second.

Due to this high amount of shopping traffic, Amazon was forced to limit new Prime memberships during the holiday season in an effort to protect the orders of current members. 

Amazon Prime is a $79 annual membership that allows for free unlimited two-day shipping. When checking out through the Amazon website, it posts an offer for a free trial of Amazon Prime if you're not already a member, allowing customers to utilize that two-day shipping. The problem is that too many people shopping last minute may take advantage of that just to make sure they get their gifts before Christmas, leaving current Prime members in a position where their gifts may be delayed as a result. 

Aside from limited Prime memberships, Amazon also addressed delayed shipments from UPS and FedEx. Both shipping companies said that bad weather and overloaded systems were the reasons for late deliveries that failed to make it before Christmas. 

Amazon responded to complaints regarding late shipments saying that it will review the performance of delivery carriers. It's also refunding shipping charges for late packages and giving out $20 Amazon gift cards to those who didn't receive packages by Christmas (but should have). 

Source: CNBC

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A better way...
By Micronite on 12/27/2013 11:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
It's clear we're moving into a new era of shopping, thank goodness. I excitedly got all my store-related Christmas gifts on Amazon this year.
Using FedEx and UPS to deliver every package to your doorstep is awesome, but I think there is a better way.
Perhaps FedEx or UPS should create a cheaper "Ship-to-Site" option where instead of home delivery, they have a warehouse and drive-up area for you to pick up your packages. It would save them loads on fuel costs and manpower.
I think the FedEx and UPS guys visited my house every other day this past month. If I knew that things were coming in spurts, it would be easy for me to wait until everything accumulated and bring it all home at once. I would also be happy to pay less for shipping.

RE: A better way...
By seamonkey79 on 12/27/2013 11:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. When I know I won't be around to sign for a package, it kind of bothers me that I can't have it held at location until after they've tried to deliver it at least once.

RE: A better way...
By fic2 on 12/27/2013 1:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think both companies allow you to have your package(s) sent to one of their stores near you. Pretty much takes care of both things.

RE: A better way...
By marvdmartian on 12/30/2013 8:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, I asked my UPS delivery driver, about a month ago, and he said all you had to do was call UPS, once you get a tracking number, and ask them to change the delivery destination. Doubtful they'd change it to another town, or another residental address (to prevent fraud), but shipping it to a UPS store, or a business address, was okay.

RE: A better way...
By ebakke on 12/27/2013 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 5
* Hold for Will Call
* Authorize Shipment Release
* "Leave at" instructions
* Hold at Fedex Location
* Sign for a Package
* Provide Delivery Instructions

RE: A better way...
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 4:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't know about these. Thanks for that info!!

RE: A better way...
By NaperJ on 12/27/2013 1:01:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure that would be cheaper for the shipping company, as they would need more warehouse space, and a good way of finding your packages in their "Raiders of the Lost Ark" warehouse. Even if they can readily find them, the amount of staffing needed to allow for fast pickups would be difficult to predict based on when people would come, and probably concentrated right after work. Since they drive by just about every residence every day, it's usually faster for them to try to deliver, and the ones they can drop and leave reduces the amount they need to store.

What I think they have tried is centralized storage lockers in stores which are looking for UPS customers to stop and hopefully buy things, where they associate the locker with you when you have a package, and you can unlock it. That is probably still an issue at this time of year, when they would be likely to run out of lockers.

RE: A better way...
By dgingerich on 12/27/2013 3:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
If they were to license the warehouse technology from Amazon, they'd have an easy time of using a computer to keep track of all the packages in a warehouse like that.

RE: A better way...
By Camikazi on 12/30/2013 2:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
They can already do that and do it in some places but the problem is that unlike Amazon which is fairly new UPS and FedEx and very old and have working warehouses that are as old and retrofitting some is out of the question while creating new buildings is very costly. I work at UPS and agree they need to do something, the amount of work we had this peak season (what UPS calls the holiday season) was insane.

The load volume in my building went one day from a projected amount of 60,000 packages to over 80,000 packages, our normal processing rate is about 10,000 packages per hour normally sometimes hitting 12,000 if everything goes right and even at that pace to get completely done and cleaned up it was taking us 9-10 hours with some work being held back to the next day. Doesn't sound too bad until you consider that this is a part time job not full time, I am a part timer and was averaging about 45 hours per week for the last 2 months because of the insane amount of packages and it is not over yet.

RE: A better way...
By nwrigley on 12/28/2013 9:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
Great point. Warehouse space is not cheap and they would need a much larger warehouse for December than the rest of the year.

RE: A better way...
By trisct on 12/27/2013 2:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon has "Amazon Locker" which is like an Amazon-only PO box. You have to drive to the location and pick up your package.

Breaking news Dec 26th, 2014
By jimbojimbo on 12/27/2013 1:39:07 PM , Rating: 3
People still ordered their presents at the very last minute instead of you know... planning ahead.

RE: Breaking news Dec 26th, 2014
By Reflex on 12/27/2013 3:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
Due to the increasing deals the closer till Christmas you get a shopper is incentivized to wait until the last minute in order to get the best price. By the last week virtually everyone is offering free shipping and last minute discounts often way beyond Black Friday discounts.

RE: Breaking news Dec 26th, 2014
By OutOfTouch on 12/27/2013 10:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well that is where risk assessment comes in my friend. Cheaper price but may not make it in time. Everyone knows that shippers are clogged during the holidays and extra time is needed. Also since everyone knows they can bitch and complain and get something for free - we have this situation.

RE: Breaking news Dec 26th, 2014
By Reflex on 12/28/2013 12:15:38 AM , Rating: 3
Of course it does. But again, paying Black Friday inflated prices is just silly. The best margins of the year are in the month of November despite the 'black Friday sales'. Knowing this, as an informed consumer, I know that I can get better pricing if I wait a few more weeks. So I do.

As for the bitching and complaining, if Amazon says I will receive a package in two days, and I do not, then they absolutely should compensate me as the customer. They are doing the right thing here. It is between Amazon and their shippers if there is a logistical problem, not the customer who was promised a given delivery date.

Notable to me is that it did not require any outcry for Amazon to do the right thing. Also notable is that I have not seen any other retailers step up to take care of their customers like this, something Amazon did automatically.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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