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Amazon’s ‘Christmas Creep’ Poses Stress Test for FedEx, UPS

  • Couriers say they’re ready for holidays after pandemic surge
  • ‘If they have problems, those problems probably won’t go away’
A FedEx worker unloads a truck in downtown Dallas.
A FedEx worker unloads a truck in downtown Dallas.Photographer: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg

FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. are girding for their biggest test yet in the e-commerce era, with “Christmas Creep” pushing the holiday shopping season ever earlier and stretching the limits of shipping networks already strained by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Promotions by Inc. and rivals that began Tuesday are forecast to spur $10 billion in sales, accelerating holiday purchases and outstripping last year’s post-Thanksgiving Cyber Monday spree. With legions of consumers staying away from stores this year, the parcel carriers are already handling record deliveries and bumping against capacity constraints.