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FedEx, UPS Traffic Signals Perky Economy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TheStreet) -- FedEx (FDX) says today will be the busiest day in company history, as it will move nearly 16 million shipment around the world.

The total is up 13% from the busiest day of 2009, a positive sign for the economy, as FDX and UPS carry large chunks of the world's GDP and are viewed as important economic indicators. In fact, UPS maintains, at any moment, 2% of world GDP and 6% of domestic GDP are being transported within its system. UPS said its holiday volume this year is up about 7.5%.

Normally, FedEx said, more than 8 million packages move through its system daily, about half of today's total. The company said its holiday volume, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will total more than 223.3 million shipments, up about 11% from a year earlier. More then half of this year's holiday season volume will be SmartPost shipments, delivered from FedEx shippers to the United States Postal Service for final delivery.

In Charlotte, N.C., at the FedEx midtown sorting facility terminal, a few dozen employees arrived at work around 5:45 a.m., about 15 minutes earlier than normal, to accommodate higher volumes. The employees sort packages, then most drive the trucks.

"I just run a little harder (today) to make sure everything gets there on time," said Maurice Fuller, 58, a FedEx driver with 27½ years at the company.

The facility is one of three FedEx Express Charlotte facilities, where packages arrive by truck from the airport and then are sorted and turned over to a fleet of about 50 trucks for delivery to home and businesses. Typically, three FedEx airplanes arrive at the Charlotte airport around 5:30 a.m, then depart at about 10:30 p.m. to return to Memphis.

UPS said its Thanksgiving to Christmas total volume will be about 430 million packages, up 7.5%. The company has hired about 50,000 seasonal workers. Its peak volume day is expected to be Wednesday, Dec. 22, with more than 24 million packages delivered, up from an average daily volume of 15.1 million packages.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service said its busiest day will be Monday, Dec. 20, when 801 million cards and letters will be processed, nearly double the average rate. The busiest delivery day will be Wednesday, Dec. 22. The postal service expects to deliver 15.8 billion letters, packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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