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UPS's Holiday Shipping Master: They Call Him Mr. Peak

UPS plans to deliver 132 million packages in the week before Christmas. Meet the man who spends his entire year making sure they arrive in time
UPS's Holiday Shipping Master: They Call Him Mr. Peak
Photograph by Ryan Lowry for Bloomberg Businessweek

A look at how this week’s cover got made

Scott Abell is fretting about free-range turkeys. It’s Nov. 20, and United Parcel Service will soon pick up 11,000 of them from a ranch in Northern California and ship them overnight to customers of Williams-Sonoma in time for Thanksgiving. Abell, a 31-year veteran of UPS, is known inside the organization as Mr. Peak. He plans next-day, two-day, and three-day shipments during the holidays, UPS’s busiest time of the year. He starts drafting his plan in January and spends the rest of the year refining it. The turkeys are his first big test of the 2013 peak season, which starts in five days.