UPS Christmas deliveries face Atlanta area delays

Veronica Morales is among the many Atlanta area residents who took to social media to complain about UPS customer service over the holiday break.

She said that a package she sent to a niece in New York didn’t arrive before Christmas as promised. Representatives of the Sandy Springs-based company told Morales on Tuesday that the package was on the truck for delivery.

Morales, who lives in Smyrna and works for a company that ships 3-D printers to jewelry makers, said several of her clients also did not receive crucial equipment during the holiday crunch. One of those deliveries arrived nearly a week behind schedule although the customer paid for two-day deliver, Morales said.

“The package made it to Atlanta, and it was there for six days,” she said. “And she is only two miles down the road from the hub.”

Other customers complained specifically about the UPS service center in Forest Park. They said packages routed through that center didn’t show up as promised, and efforts to retrieve them in person resulted in long waits and few answers.

A company spokesman acknowledged Tuesday that there had been some issues in the region. He said they were not widespread.

“The vast majority of UPS shipments have been, and continue to be, delivered on time,” Glenn Zaccara said via email. “There were a few markets where package volume came in stronger than expected, including in Atlanta. In those locations, we quickly augmented our operations staff with support employees.”

UPS won’t provide final numbers about how it fared during the holiday season until fourth quarter earnings are released in February.

The company also had issues with delayed deliveries at the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It reported that deliveries were taking an additional one to two days because of heavy volumes of online shopping.

By mid-December, however, UPS said that things were back to normal.

“Black Friday and Cyber Week sales in the U.S. were record-breaking and UPS delivered more than originally forecast as a result of such strong e-commerce demand,” the company said in a Dec. 13 news release. “UPS customers can be confident UPS is taking the necessary steps to ensure the network operates with its customary dependable performance throughout the remainder of the holiday season.”

The company said it expected to deliver about 750 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, an increase of 40 million compared to 2016. In addition to its usual seasonal hiring blitz to keep up with demand, UPS updated its facilities to handle more packages.

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