If you're looking to load up on Nike products this holiday season, you may want to place your orders sooner than normal, as UPS has imposed shipping restrictions for the sportswear giant and other large retailers. The mandate comes as delivery companies have been spread thin in recent months both due to the coronavirus pandemic, and more recently, the holiday shopping season.
The Wall Street Journal reports that UPS drivers in the United States were informed to stop picking up packages from Nike, Gap, L.L. Bean, Macy's, Hot Topic, and New Egg on Cyber Monday, as demand was too high. The temporary limitations have been put in place to more closely monitor the flow of packages, no only during the busiest time of the year, but also as customers have opted for increased online ordering in place of physical retail locations due to COVID-19. A result of the circumstances caused by the pandemic, the the National Retail Federation has reported that online shopping spiked 44 percent between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A UPS spokesperson has revealed, however, that the company will pick up packages from customers more frequently once more capacity is available. If history repeats itself, shipping levels will likely die down following the week after Thanksgiving and on to the week before Christmas.
One of UPS' biggest customers, Amazon has removed its cap of $35 for free shipping to promote more orders this season. UPS has revealed that it is working closely with Amazon to direct volume to locations with more capacity.
Even though UPS is being forced to handle record volume, a spokesperson has said the company is pleased with its recent performance. UPS' larger retailer customers seem to be content as well, as a Gap spokeswoman recently said, “We are happy with the performance of our parcel delivery network following the higher cyber week demand. Knowing the unique constraints the industry is facing this peak season, we worked with our carriers early on to collectively build a strategic plan of execution.”
In light of these circumstances, many retailers are warning customers of possible shipping delays, encouraging them to shop early and expect longer waiting periods for delivery.
For more on UPS' current shipping restrictions, visit The Wall Street Journal.