FedEx preps for busiest shipping day in history

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December 10, 2012, 7:14 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - If you are gathering gifts and getting them out to friends and relatives, you are not alone this holiday season.

FedEx said Monday will be the busiest shipping day of the year.

FedEx facilities are in constant motion right now, moving 19 million packages at a rate of 200 per second.
Safe to say the holiday rush was ramping up on Monday.

"We've been preparing for this day since the day after Christmas last year -- literally planning for this day since then,” said Paul Tronsor of FedEx Global Operations Control.

And now, it's here: The busiest day in FedEx history.
Nineteen million packages are passing through the system -- that's 10 million more than an average day.

"Peak just means longer hours, more packages to deliver,” said John Dunavant, FedEx vice president in Memphis.
Deliveries will be on the ground and through the air. FedEx has 660 jets, the fifth largest fleet in the world -- and many, right now, are packed with presents.
They are all off-loaded, sorted, then shuttled along a 42-mile matrix of conveyor belts at the world hub in Memphis.
"Just making sure that the packages keep moving to their destination,” Dunavant said.

The team in FedEx’s high-tech command center keeps track of the traffic, analyzing data from check-points and scanners and watching video of the operation from more than 250 cameras. It’s just like any other day, only a lot busier.

“The process doesn't really change -- what changes is the number of aircraft we have, the number of trucks that we have, the number of people it takes to deliver the packages,” Dunavant said.

Global operations coordinates all of that, monitoring the weather and altering routes on the road and in the air to allocate resources to deal with any problem that may come up.

"We develop a plan, a strategy if you will, to mitigate those problems, whether it be weather or traffic or hurricane, or typhoon,” Tronsor said. “We work around those things to make sure those packages get there.”

And that they make it in time for families to celebrate the holiday season.

Monday will be the busiest day ever for FedEx, part of what could be a record-breaking holiday season. The shipping giant expects to move 280 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- that would be a 13 percent increase over last year.

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