10 Interesting Holiday Shipping Facts

It’s not Santa Claus, eight tiny reindeer, or helpful elves, but automation that makes magic happen around the holidays. Automation plays a very important role in the holiday hustle and bustle. From manufacturing to packaging to shipping, automation is essential in the modern holiday season. Here are 10 interesting holiday shipping facts.

4 largest delivery companies

UPS is the largest delivery company in the world. FedEx is the second largest. DHL Express comes in at number 3. The United States Postal Service was the world’s fourth largest delivery service in the world until recently, but now Japan Post has that honor. The post office is still #4 for the U.S. in particular.

880 acres

The FedEx Super Hub in Memphis, Tennessee covers 880 acres. It has 3.7 million square feet of facilities, including 80 miles of conveyor belts.

155 miles

The UPS Worldport hub in Louisville, Kentucky takes up 5.2 million square feet  and has 155 miles of conveyors.

600 flights in a week

More than 600 flights will go in and out of UPS Worldport the week before Christmas.

Doubling down for the holidays

The Super Hub and Worldport hubs both handle millions of packages every day. They expect the number of packages they handle each day to double during the holidays.

A lack of human touch

Shipping facilities like Super Hub and Worldport are nearly fully automated. Most packages are touched only twice by humans, and automation takes care of the rest.

Around the globe eight and a half times

UPS delivers enough boxes during the holidays season to circle the globe 8.5 times.

15 billion pieces of mail

The United States Postal Service expects to deliver 15 billion pieces of mail and 800 million packages this holiday season.


The USPS expects 7 million people to visit their online website for help with holiday shipping on Dec. 18th, just one full week before Christmas Day. It’s anticipated to be the busiest online day.

Nearly 90% on 750 million packages

ShipMatrix says that 89% of UPS Express packages are delivered on time. Not bad for a company that expects to deliver more than 750 million packages this holiday season.

Distribution hubs, automatic sorters, and motion control systems aren’t as fun or festive as Santa and a sleigh, but they certainly help make the season bright. Remember, call 479-422-0390 any time you need support for your Indramat motion control system.