The U.S. holiday shopping season is on track to break sales records on the back of surging consumer confidence and increased use of mobile devices, presenting an unexpected boon for retailers and delivery companies.
Walmart said on Wednesday that soaring online purchases have caused delays in its distribution network, reflecting the challenge retailers and delivery services face in handling strong peak-season ecommerce demand.
The tightest U.S. labor market this century is putting pressure on margins for freight haulers and warehouse operators as they bid for hundreds of thousands of workers to move packages during the peak holiday period.
United Parcel Service told customers about extra holiday charges for 2018 much earlier than it did this year to give major retailers a full year to plan shipping schedules and defray costs, said CEO David Abney.
Shares of United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp fell on Thursday after a report that Amazon.com Inc was testing its own delivery service, potentially encroaching on the territory of the package delivery companies.
Burberry delivered a mix trading update on Wednesday morning. There were signs that the firm is getting back on the recovery trail as its new bags and outerwear are selling well, but also that there is still work to do.
UK consumers appeared to be in the mood to go out and to shop over the long Easter weekend with new figures showing higher footfall to high streets and online sales advancing. Easter Monday looked particularly strong.
UPS will now deliver packages on Saturdays, likely a response to major recent shifts in logistics that includes drones, more retailers offering 2-day delivery and Amazon investing in its own logistics infrastructure.