For the first time in several years, employees of United Parcel Service Inc. nationwide will be working on the day after Thanksgiving this year. That’s after shipping delays — brought on by heavy volume, weather and a shorter-than-average Christmas season — plagued the shipping giant last year.
UPS is based in Atlanta, and its UPS Airlines division and largest air sorting hub, Worldport, are located in Louisville. It also has major ground and warehousing operations here. It has about 20,000 full-time equivalent workers in Louisville, making it the area’s largest private-sector employer.
The goal of having the extra working day “is to accommodate our customers’ changing shipping patterns, e-commerce in particular,” said Mike Mangeot, public relations manager for the company. He wasn’t sure how long it has been since UPS employees have worked on Black Friday. But he said it will be the first time they’ve done so in his 23 years with the company.
At this point, he said, UPS is still formulating its operating plans as far as staffing levels and the number of flights. It has 250 flights and 9,000 employees at Worldport on a typical day. Those numbers go up a great deal around the holidays. UPS officials hired about 1,100 seasonal employees in Louisville during peak season last year.
Labor conflicts are not anticipated as a result of the decision. Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 27 this week, which leaves exactly four weeks between it and Christmas. That’s one day less between the holidays than last year.