UPS has made a big change to its popular overnight service Next Day Air. Beginning on October 18th, 2021, UPS Next Day Air now has a different service commitment for residential delivery. Instead of delivery taking place by 10:30am in certain areas, UPS will now deliver Next Day Air packages at or before 12pm. UPS said this change will remain in effect until further notice.
The Reason Behind UPS Changing Next Day Air Service Commitments
At the time of publishing this article, Next Day Air is the only UPS service with changing delivery timeframes. According to UPS, the only affected residential locations will be those with “typical” delivery times of 10:30am. As for the reason behind the change? The answer is what continues to challenge the shipping industry: rising volumes from the COVID-19 pandemic. While eCommerce volume surged during 2020 and only continues to increase now, some carriers have no choice but to change service commitments. As 2020 showed us, there is such a thing as too much volume, after all…like when FedEx capped shipments from major retailers to combat too much strain on its network.
Are All Carriers Altering Delivery Commitments?
Altering service commitments seems to be the go-to strategy for carriers to cope with rising package volume. In fact, UPS isn’t the only one doing so. The US Postal Service also recently changed its commitments for some of its most popular services; in fact, the agency recently added an extra day for Priority Mail packages (to 4 day delivery in some cases). USPS has also considered slowing down a portion of First Class Package shipments to a 5-day service commitment, instead of the current 3-day timeframe.
In March of 2020, UPS suspended all money-back guarantees on Next Day Air delivery services in the United States. Finally, UPS reinstated the guarantees for Next Day Air on April 5th of 2021. However, even after UPS announced the altered service commitments Next Day Air shipments, company has not reinstated money-back guarantees on all of its products. At the end of day, UPS and all the other parcel delivery companies are still coping with pressures on their networks due to increasing demand for eCommerce orders…and carriers are anticipating even more demand as we approach the 2021 peak holiday season.