United Parcel Service, the world's largest package-delivery company, said it couldn't deliver some holiday shipments by Christmas Day as volume overwhelmed capacity.
"The volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network immediately preceding Christmas so some shipments were delayed," the Atlanta-based company said Wednesday in a service update on its website. "UPS is not making pickups or deliveries on Christmas Day and will resume normally scheduled service on December 26."
Amazon.com sent messages to some customers Wednesday that cited "failure in the UPS transportation network" for delayed deliveries, offering to refund shipping charges and providing gift cards, CNN reported. The Seattle-based company didn't immediately respond to a voicemail message left with its media-relations line seeking comment.
UPS expected to ship more than 132 million parcels globally during the week before Christmas, according to the cover story for subscribers to Bloomberg Businessweek in its Dec. 23 issue.
UPS has long dominated the holiday shipping business in the U.S. because of its fleet of 101,000 signature brown trucks, vans, tractor trailers and motorcycles, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Its rival, Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx, has more jets though its ground-delivery fleet is less than one- third the size, at about 32,000 vehicles.
In October, UPS and FedEx announced their holiday shipping forecasts. FedEx said it would carry more than 85 million shipments in the first week of December. UPS predicted it would deliver 129 million packages that week, and would see a second holiday rush during the week before Christmas.
UPS added 55,000 part-time holiday workers, leased 23 extra planes and effectively built a second trucking fleet to handle the seasonal package flow, according to the cover story.