Today UPS (NYSE: UPS) kicks off its seasonal peak week of the year with plans to deliver more than 135 million packages around the world, culminating with 28 million deliveries on Thursday, Dec. 20, the busiest day of the holiday season. Last minute shoppers can ship as late as Friday, Dec. 21, using UPS Next Day Air ® to have gifts arrive by Christmas Eve. To meet the demand, coordinated UPS transportation and technology networks will flex their muscles. The UPS Airlines will add more than 400 additional flights per day this week, and some three million express shipments will be processed within 24 hours through the UPS Worldport international air hub in Louisville, Ky. With so many packages en route, UPS expects more than 69 million online tracking requests on Tuesday, Dec. 18. For more holiday stats, see UPS’s peak week infographic. Consumers have had the added convenience to register for UPS My Choice®. The free service sends a text message or email alert the day before a package is delivered. If the scheduled time doesn’t work, registered members can reschedule or reroute their delivery for a small fee. More than 2 million people have registered for the residential delivery service since its October 2011 introduction. UPS has sent 33 million alerts and delivered 29.5 million UPS My Choice packages. Hassle-Free Returns After the holidays UPS doesn’t slow down. As more consumers shop online, they will return or exchange those unwanted holiday gifts. UPS expects to transport more than 2 million packages back to retailers during the first week in January 2013. This year more retailers are focusing on reverse logistics and offering free returns. Convenient UPS returns options allow consumers to drop off packages at their local The UPS Store or hand it to their UPS driver. UPS encourages retailers to include a return label in the package, or have the labels available on the Internet for consumers to print themselves. National Returns Day – the busiest day for returns at UPS – is Jan. 3, 2013 when UPS anticipates more than 520,000 packages shipped back to retailers in a single day.