2021 State of Holiday Shipping in the US8 min read

The pandemic has largely disrupted holiday shipping in 2021, with a surge in online purchases, record shipping costs, port congestion, and inventory shortage.

Not to forget, the heavy weightage that has fallen on the operational efficiency of shipping carriers, raising concerns over their package-handling capacity and their ability to meet on-time delivery promises. Indeed, you can anticipate your customers to meet with stockouts and longer delivery timelines from all carriers this Holiday season. 

FedEx Corp. is forecasting a 10% increase in holiday package deliveries over the previous record peak season in 2020 while UPS is also taking efforts like hiring 10,000 seasonal workers. 

While carriers who are well aware of this demand, are responding with more fulfillment and distribution capacity besides hiring temporary workforce. They are also levying additional surcharges to meet the demands of delivering residential packages amid volume surges.

Before you start worrying over skyrocketing shipping bills, know that navigating through the holiday shipping season with mitigated damage from delays can help you save on shipping costs! 

We at LateShipment.com have crafted our 4th annual report, which gives you detailed unbiased insights on delivery performances and expected delay rates during the 2021 holiday shipping season. This can give you a headstart in your process towards making data-backed decisions to optimize their supply chain during the critical Holiday season and beyond.

Let’s take a deep dive into it.

An Analysis of Shipping Performance by FedEx and UPS in 2021 Right Before the Holiday Season

The following section is the result of a trend analysis conducted on packages shipped during the 2021 Regular Operating Period (Jan 1 – Oct 31). You will find a detailed breakdown of package delays by UPS and FedEx across key States, Cities, Service-types, and Retail Categories in the United States. 

In 2021, parcels shipped through FedEx witnessed Holiday-shipping- season-like delays while UPS performed considerably better than in 2020.

States, cities, and regions


  • During the regular operating period of 2021, UPS Packages shipped to Texas faced the most delays with 10.3% of packages delivered late. While 15.34% of packages shipped to Illinois via FedEx faced the most delays.