Shippers scramble to get late Christmas packages delivered

Posted December 26, 2013

— Drivers with UPS and FedEx were back on the road Thursday, delivering late holiday shipments.

Both companies blamed bad weather and high volume for delays that affected deliveries to many parts of the country, including North Carolina. UPS and FedEx won’t say how many packages were delayed, but they said they're doing everything they can to get Christmas gifts to their destinations.

That’s cold comfort to Patty Dressen of Holly Springs.

She ordered sports clothing and accessories for her family on Dec. 16 with guaranteed FedEx delivery by Christmas Eve, but the items never arrived. She understands delays happen, but better communication is needed.

“If you're in the delivery business, and I've got an email that says it's on your truck, I expect it to be here,” Dressen said. “When I look and see it's on the truck again and it's still not here today, I don't know what to expect. I don't know where to go.”

A large number of WRAL News viewers took to social media Thursday to defend the shipping companies, saying it’s the responsibility of consumers to shop and ship early to ensure gifts get under the tree on time.

Margaret Hagerman summed up that sentiment in her Facebook post: "It's not the fault of UPS and FedEx that the weather was bad throughout most of the country, and the last-minute shoppers added to the burden. We're awaiting one package, but that's OK so long as it gets here."

Various retailers, including Kohl's and Walmart, were also apologizing Thursday. Amazon promised gift cards or to cover the cost of shipping delays.


This story is closed for comments. Comments on news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • PDMARTIN Dec 27, 9:35 a.m.

    If these peoples Christmas was ruined because a package didn't make under the tree then they don't understand the true meaning of the holiday. Greed and give me, give me give me. So sad.

  • whyalltheproblems Dec 27, 8:58 a.m.

    totally understand the frustration, I honestly do. However, for those complaining about how their Christmas was ruined because of this, how about telling that to the family of the Marine from Lejeune killed in Afghanistan 2 days before Christmas. Maybe if the media focused on real tragedies and news, the focus in this country might be a little different.

  • PDMARTIN Dec 27, 8:19 a.m.

    I just laugh because there are people who have gotten so upset about this. Weather and an abundance of online ordering did it.
    Would they be upset if the truck with their packages on it was in a wreck and the driver hurt or killed would they be still be acting so foolishly? It's just a package, good grief.

  • RAA0013 Dec 26, 7:51 p.m.

    Kohls was awesome. Sent an e-mail apologizing my package was later than promised and gave me a $25.00 gift certificate in the e-mail because of the delays. I ordered the package just before the big snow storms hit early December in plenty of time for delays. So even though it was later than promised it was still well before Christmas.

  • TP4Real Dec 26, 7:49 p.m.

    Why would anyone expect guarenteed delivery when ordering that late sorry but neither fedex nor ups have control of the weather but they do control drivers that deliver to the wrong streets.

    Because the seller guaranteed delivery by a certain date if you purchased it before a certain date?

  • heartin2abridge Dec 26, 7:24 p.m.

    But retailers shouldn't guarantee it will be there if they can't make it happen.

  • sunshine1040 Dec 26, 7:21 p.m.

    Why would anyone expect guarenteed delivery when ordering that late sorry but neither fedex nor ups have control of the weather but they do control drivers that deliver to the wrong streets.

  • scubagirl2 Dec 26, 7:04 p.m.

    I will say that it is NOT the fault of the shipping company (UPS, FedEx, USPS) that the SENDER waited until the last minute to mail. A little foresight on the part of the CONSUMER would have prevented all of this.